Merry Christmas to our Center Point Church family! This is the day we celebrate God’s Son entering our world as a helpless infant—born to a peasant, virgin girl; his coming first prophesied in the early chapters of Genesis; a child who will bring salvation to all who in humility take hold of him in faith.
Today’s readings speak about God’s judgment on sin and rebellion. Zechariah addresses God’s judgment of the nation of Israel in the past; Revelation describes God’s unparalleled judgment of our planet in the future.
But Zechariah is confident that God will restore Israel after its long winter of exile in Babylon. And in that restoration Zechariah anticipates a new world of blessing and prosperity (see verses 7-8, 20-23). It is a glimpse of the millennium when God will return to our world, Jesus will physically rule from Jerusalem, “and many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.”
This same God who showed up 2,000 years ago will come again in all his glory, splendor and power. The good news that brings great joy is that we who know the Savior will not have to suffer judgment, but will be welcomed into the kingdom of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
In 1864 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. The third and fourth verses are a good summary of our passages for today:
And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
Question of the day: What specific behavior does God call for in Zechariah 8:16-17? What would that look like for you?
Father, thank you that your Son visited our planet, showed us how to live, died for our sins, gives us salvation through faith, sends his Spirit into our hearts, and has promised to return. It is only because of the great mercy you poured out onto us through Jesus your Son that we will join you in the new Jerusalem.
Tom Powidzki with Jim Nite