Think of birth announcements you’ve received. They read something like this: Timothy and Mackenzie are pleased to announce the arrival of Zander Boris, weighing 7 lbs. 4 oz., at 19 ½ inches long. Or maybe this: Ethan and Mallory are thrilled that Morgann Esther showed up early, weighing 6 lbs. 2 oz, at 18 inches long. I’ve not seen one like these: Late last night, Oliver Martin was born, who is Chief Administrator of NASA, or: It is with pleasure that the birth is announced of Caroline Lydia, Director of the FBI. And yet, that is precisely what the birth announcement of Jesus was like: To you is born the Liberator, who is the promised Anointed One, the Supreme Authority. Wow! While we sometimes see a precocious child and say something like, there’s the next President of the USA, or a future CEO, we are lightheartedly acknowledging a character trait prematurely bursting forth.

Jesus’ birth announcement was a fait accompli, not a prophetic word, not just the hope or wish of over-achiever, helicopter parents. So, from birth (or even before, if Zechariah’s 9-month muteness or John’s in utero leap or Elizabeth’s outburst of worship count), Jesus was, positionally, already established, already the Anointed One, the One of whom the Old Testament prophecies spoke. The 400 years of waiting (since all prophecies came to an end after the exile) were concluded at Jesus’ arrival on the scene. The Kingdom’s ‘engine’ was revving up now that it had broken through into the neighborhoods of the lowliest of men. Angels were dispatched with great, contagious joy. The Father’s heart must have been bursting with love and pride in His Son; that love now flowing to the homes and hearts of His people.

Today, 2,000 years after one glory-filled night, the Anointed One, the Supreme Authority, still is! His love still is! His power still is! His rule and reign still are! Isaiah says: “Those who walked in darkness have seen a radiant light shining upon them.” (9:2, VOICE). Centuries later, the Apostle John, in writing his account of the Gospel, says: “A light that shines in the depths of darkness, blazes through murky bottoms. It cannot and will not be quenched.” (1:5, VOICE). Jesus himself says: “I am the light that shines through the cosmos; if you walk with Me, you will thrive in the nourishing light that gives life and will not know darkness.” (John 8:12, VOICE). He adds: “You, beloved, are the light of the world. Let your light shine everywhere you go . . .” (Matt. 5:14,16, VOICE).

On this magnificent Fourth Day of Christmas, may it be said of us!  PD

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