Lord God help us to meditate on what Christmas means for us and to treasure these beautiful truths in our hearts every day. In the name of your Son and our Savior we pray. Amen.
In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.
There aren’t many who aren’t celebrating Christmas today by getting together with family and friends to eat, give gifts, and make merry. There also aren’t many whose celebrations are focused on Christ, the reason we have Christmas in the first place. Today, along with Easter and Mother’s Day, is one of the days more people attend church than any other the entire year. But, if the 7.53 billion people on this planet actually wanted to celebrate what Christmas is really all about, Christian churches would be busting at the seams. But they aren’t.
The only people we know of that came to worship the newborn Savior that first Christmas was a small group of shepherds. They went out and told everyone what they had heard and seen, and all who heard it were amazed, but as far as we know, no else went to see Jesus that night. Ever feel like those shepherds might have? Like the amount of people who care what Christmas is all about and take time to worship the newborn King is really pretty pathetic?
The fact is, this Savior is the Savior of all! The angel proclaimed it, didn’t he? “I bring you good news of great joy, that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10). And Isaiah prophesied it 700 or so years before, when God moved him to preach: “In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.”
That Root of Jesse, is Jesus, the newborn King! He was born so that he could grow up and stand as a banner for the peoples – to preach and teach the good news of the Kingdom of God. He stood as a banner for the peoples as he carried the weight of the entire world’s sins on his shoulders. He stood as a banner for the peoples against Satan and defeated him soundly. He stood as a banner for the peoples as he walked out of the tomb alive to conquer death. He stands as a banner for the peoples as he rules all things from the right hand of the Father.
Through his Word we preach he desires to rally all nations to himself and give rest to all! The rest that comes from the peace of knowing he has taken our punishment of hell for sin. The rest of heaven, free from pain and death. This rest is a free gift he desires all to have!
No matter what reason people are celebrating today, no matter if they know it or believe it, this Savior born this day is for all people! Let’s tell our neighbors, friends, everyone we meet – A Savior is born to give us glorious rest! Rest from our sins, and rest forever! And for that, we have a meaningful reason to celebrate! It truly is a Merry Christmas!
Additional Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10
1. Why do we give gifts to each other as a family? Why put up lights and decorations? Why have family gatherings?
2. Why do we need to be careful that all the extra things don’t get in the way of the real meaning of Christmas?
1. Since Jesus came to be the Savior of all people, who in your life do you want to tell about the real meaning of Christmas?
1. Read the context of the verse from our devotion in Isaiah 11:1-10. We get some awesome pictures of what Jesus would be like. How is he described in this prophecy from about 700 years before he was born?
2. We also have some beautiful illustrations of the peace and rest he brings our hearts, and what the peace and rest will be like that we will experience in heaven for eternity. How is it described?
Immanuel, on this Christmas Day we praise you for taking on flesh and dwelling among us. You came for all people. You desire that all people would rally to you to have the peace and rest only you can give. Help us be your heralds to share the message of a Savior born for all. Amen.