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VERSE OF DAY: The Great Turning Point of All Things ✨

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That is the mystery of the redemption of the world; everything past and everything future is encompassed here. The infinite mercy of the almighty God comes to us, descends to us in the form of a child, his Son. That this child is born for us, this son is given to us, that this human child and Son of God belongs to me, that I know him, have him, love him, that I am his and he is mine—on this alone my life now depends. A child has our life in his hands.…

What kings and leaders of nations, philosophers and artists, founders of religions, and teachers of morals have tried in vain to do—that now happens through a newborn child. Putting to shame the most powerful human efforts and accomplishments, a child is placed here at the midpoint of world history—a child born of human beings, a son given by God (Isa. 9:6).

How shall we deal with such a child? Have our hands, soiled with daily toil, become too hard and too proud to fold in prayer at the sight of this child? Has our head become too full of serious thoughts … that we cannot bow our head in humility at the wonder of this child? Can we not forget all our stress and struggles, our sense of importance, and for once worship the child, as did the shepherds and the wise men from the East, bowing before the divine child in the manger like children?

“The Government upon the Shoulders of the Child,” Christmas 1940

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.

Romans 8:31–34


The Grandest Light of History

Isaiah 9:6–7; Revelation 12:1–6

The birth of Jesus is the grandest light of history, the sun in the heavens of all time. It is the polestar of human destiny, the hinge of chronology, the meeting place of the waters of the past and the future.

Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892)

The Great God Left His Heavenly Throne

Jeremiah 10:12; 51:15; Philippians 2:6–8; Hebrews 1:2; 2:11

He it was who created the worlds; He it was who interposed of old time in the affairs of the world, and showed Himself to be a living and observant God, whether men thought of Him or not. Yet this great God condescended to come down on earth from His heavenly throne, and to be born into His own world; showing Himself as the Son of God in a new and second sense, in a created nature, as well as in His eternal substance.

John Henry Newman (1801–1890)

The Image of the Father Came to Renew Our Image

Genesis 1:26–27; Colossians 1:15

What then was God to do? Or what was to be done save the renewing of that which was in God’s image, so that by it men might once more be able to know Him? But how could this have come to pass save by the presence of the very image of God, our Lord Jesus Christ?

For by men’s means it was impossible, since they are but made after an image; nor by angels either, for not even they are God’s images. For this reason the Word of God came in His own person, that, as He was the image of the Father, He might be able to create afresh the man after the image.

But, again, it could not else have taken place had not death and corruption been done away. For this reason He took, in natural fitness, a mortal body, that while death might in it be once for all done away, humans made after His image might once more be renewed. None other then was sufficient for this need, save the image of the Father.

Athanasius of Alexandria (ca. 295–373)

The Image of the Father Paints a New Portrait

Genesis 1:27; 9:6; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15

As, when the likeness painted on a panel has been effaced by stains, he whose likeness it is needs to come once more to enable the portrait to be renewed on the same wood—for, for the sake of his picture, even the mere wood on which it is painted is not thrown away, but the outline is renewed upon it—in the same way also the most holy Son of the Father, being the Image of the Father, came to our region to renew man once made in His likeness, and find him, as one lost, by the remission of sins.

Athanasius of Alexandria (ca. 295–373)

The Incarnation Exalts Human Nature

Psalm 8:5; 2:7, 9

In the light of Bethlehem’s candle we see man not as he often is, but as he may be, as we trust he yet will be. God became man that man might become as God; that he might be a little higher than the angels, instead of a little lower than the brutes. Thus, in the light of this truth, we escape from the snare of the devil, which would lead us to despise human nature.

Frederic Farrar (1831–1903)

The Incarnation Is Better Than Creation

Luke 2:7, 14

Though creation may be a majestic organ of praise, it cannot reach the compass of the golden canticle—incarnation! There is more melody in Jesus in the manger than in the whole sublime oratorio of the creation. There is more grandeur in the song that heralds the birth of the babe of Bethlehem than there is in worlds on worlds rolling in silent grandeur around the throne of the Most High.

Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892)

The Incarnation Is the Greatest Miracle

Ephesians 1:22; Philippians 2:6–7; Colossians 1:18; 2 Peter 1:4

It was the greatest miracle of all God’s works that ever He revealed to the sons of men, to take the human nature into union with the divine—that Christ, who was God, should condescend to be made man. And the next is that He will take His church into union with Himself, and will magnify His love, in such a wonderful advancement of poor sinners, that without His grace they could not well believe it.

Richard Baxter (1615–1691)

The Incarnation Is the Heart of the Gospel

Luke 1:77–79; Philippians 2:6–7; Hebrews 7:27

If, for the first time, you had heard of the visit of the incarnate God to this world, you would be struck with a wonder which would last throughout all eternity, that God Himself should really condescend to such a deed as this. This is the heart of the gospel, the incomparable fact of the incarnation of the Son of God, His dwelling upon the earth, and His presentation of Himself as a sacrifice unto God.

Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892)

The Incarnation Lays the Foundation for God’s Blessing

Romans 8:6–8; Ephesians 2:13–18

There was not only a distance between us and God by reason of impurity, but a difference by reason of enmity. God is a God of glorious majesty, and we are poor creatures; God is a God of pure and immaculate holiness, and we are sinful creatures, lapsed and fallen under the guilt of sin, and deserving of punishment. There was our great trouble and grievance, and nothing comfortable could we expect from him. But when God is willing to come among us, and take our nature, and die for a sinful world, there is a foundation laid for His being with us, to help us, and bless us upon all occasions.

Thomas Manton (1620–1677)

The Incorruptible Lays Hold of the Nature Subject to Corruption

1 Corinthians 15:50; 2 Corinthians 5:21

It behooved that the incorruptible should lay hold of the nature subject to corruption, that He might free it from corruption; it behooved that He who knew no sin should be made of the same form with those who were under sin, that He might make sin to cease. For as where is light, there surely darkness will have no work, so where incorruption is present, is all necessity that corruption flee, and that, since He who did not know sin has made His own that which was under sin, sin should come to nothing.

Cyril of Alexandria (ca. 375–444)[2]


Praise to Jesus for the Incarnation

Philippians 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:10

I praise and magnify you for voluntarily emptying yourself of your fullness,

and for graciously taking upon yourself our weak and degraded nature,

capable of suffering and of death,

that you might fill us by emptying yourself,

might save us by your sufferings,

might raise us by your lowliness,

might strengthen us by your weakness,

and by your death might bring us to a glorious immortality.

Thomas à Kempis (ca. 1380–1471)

Sweeter to See Christ Humbled than Glorified

Philippians 2:6–7

O good Jesus, how sweet you are in the heart of one that muses on you and that loves you!

It is far, far sweeter for loving memory to see you born in time of your virgin mother than to behold you begotten of your Father before the daystar;

sweeter to think that you have emptied yourself, and have taken the form of a servant, than that in the form of God you are equal to God.

Anselm of Canterbury (ca. 1033–1109)

Thanksgiving for Sending the Savior

Jeremiah 33:12–16; Ephesians 2:14; 3:6

Grant, Almighty God,

that since you have been pleased to perform to the Jews what you promised, by sending the Savior,

and have also designed, by pulling down the middle wall of partition, to make us partakers of the same invaluable blessing,

O grant that we may embrace Him with true faith,

and constantly abide in Him,

and so know you as our Father,

so that, being renewed by the Spirit of your Son,

we may wholly devote ourselves to you,

and consecrate ourselves to your service,

until at length that which is begun in us is completed,

and we are filled with that glory to which your Son, our Lord, daily invites us.

Amen.

John Calvin (1509–1564)[3]


[1] Bonhoeffer, D. (2010). God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas. (J. Riess, Ed., O. C. Dean Jr., Trans.) (First edition, pp. 56–57). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.

[2] Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2013). 300 Quotations and Prayers for Christmas. Lexham Press.

[3] Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2013). 300 Quotations and Prayers for Christmas. Lexham Press.

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