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December 10, 2016

"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus" (Luke 1:31).

Read Luke 1:30-33.

I love studying the ornaments on our Christmas tree. Each has a history and a meaning all its own; each triggers a memory. But when I was a kid I never really cared that much about the ornaments. For me the best thing was the tree itself -- all lit up and shining in glory.

As Mary looks at the angel shining in all his glory, she is confused and gripped with fear. Gabriel cancels that fear by revealing God has chosen her to be the mother of a very special Son. In simple words he spells out the whole story of Christmas. She will conceive and give birth to a Son, a special Son; His Name will be Jesus.

Sadly, that is all most people see when they pass by a manger scene: a baby lying there in the hay. But we need to pause and step closer, so we can study each detail the angel reveals about Him, just like the ornaments on a tree. First, He says this Child will be great: the greatest human to ever live. Next, he calls Him the Son of the Most High, the mighty Son of God.

Now he reveals this Child is born to be King, but He will not be like any other earthly king. Other kings and leaders depend upon the might of their military or the assent of their people to rule. But Jesus' Kingship rests on His strength alone. He does not need an army of angels to keep Him on His throne; nor does He need our consent. In His greatest hour (and ours), He will go to the cross alone. There He will defeat sin, death, hell and the devil for us.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, Your Son is our mighty King. Receive our thanks for His great salvation and help us spread His reign of grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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