The Babe of Bethlehem

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not
consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are
new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."

Lamentations 3:22-23 NIVUK

Man with his head down

The prophet Jeremiah, in and around 600 BC, so lamented the Babylonian decimation of the once beautiful city of Jerusalem that he devoted an entire book of the Bible called Lamentations. In his writings, Jeremiah describes his anguish, except for one sequence of verses in chapter 3 (vs. 19-24), where he interjects God's "hope" into the midst of despair. The Lord's mercies bring newness into Jeremiah's world, while also proclaiming His act of salvation. This provision echoes the reconstructive realities and promises of God which, I would add, as Isaiah foretells below, are not just for "every morning," but every moment of each day, as we reach out for the salvation of the Lord who was born at Christmas to save us all forever.

"For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgement and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."

Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV

There is a staggering number of "before Christ" prophesies that speak in considerable detail of His coming. Any court of law would surely accept such evidence as irrefutable proof of His credentials. Yet, still we turn against Him, even as He calls our very names while praying for our souls in the Garden of Gethsemane. You may recall one of my previously articled favourite characters from Luke's account of the events leading up to and surrounding Christ's birth; that being the endearing and metaphorical story of the old man of faith...Simeon.

God promised Simeon that he would not die until witnessing the Lord's salvation. Having been "called" to the temple, in response to God's prompting for him to witness Jesus' "rights of passage," the occasion created the opportunity for Simeon to recognize Jesus (thus affirming His calling and deity). While holding the Christ Child, Simeon offered a blessing to God for the fulfillment of holy prophecy during his own lifetime.

The miracle was Jesus, just as He remains today. However, it was not only granted for Simeon. God's promises, then and now (and throughout eternity), are fulfilled each and every time we call out to the "Babe of Bethlehem" for mercy and forgiveness. The potency of His salvation has not receded one inch from the shoreline of life, demarking the glory of the lowly stable, positioned as the throne of grace for all humankind.

We continue to serve our King Jesus on your behalf for the sake of His followers who are in peril for the declaration of their faith, and the acknowledgment of the absolute power of His name. On behalf of our ministry team, I want to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayerful and financial support. May God bless you and yours as you bless those whom we serve.

Merry Christmas,

Doug McKenzie
Chief Executive Officer
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada