If you could go anywhere at all to reflect and meditate on the meaning of Christmas, where would you go?
I would want to go to Bethlehem.
The angel said to Mary:
“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will call his name Jesus. He will be great. He will be called the son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
So now, the word. The very first word of the herald from heaven, announcing the child to come.
Who is he? What sort of hero approaches? What is this Mercy soon to be born among us?
Why, he shall be a king! He shall be the king whom God had promised a thousand years earlier to David – not only a king like David, but a king to fulfill all that David represented. For David was a king bounded by time and space. His reign existed within the history of humankind. But this King shall gather time and space into his kingdom, and shall himself embrace the history of humankind, for of his kingdom “there will be no end….”
In the eternal view, God was looking at the son of Mary, the only begotten “Son of the Most High.” And here is the deeper meaning of the angel’s words: Messiah is coming. In Messiah shall the house of God be built (wherein, with God, we all may dwell eternally). In Messiah shall goodness finally arise to rule the world. In Messiah shall we find a place of peace; for “I will appoint a place for my people Israel,” said the Lord (v. 10). “I will plant them that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. Violent people shall afflect them no more…and I will give you rest from all your enemies.”
This is he who is to come; this is the hero: Jesus.
“You shall call his name Jesus.”
Jesus. He is our mercy. Jesus. Jesus.
-Preparing for Jesus by Walter Wangerin Jr