The End of the Beginning

Christmas 2013 is over.  The holiday has ended.  In reality the opposite is true.  It’s just the end of the beginning.

Luke 2: 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.  20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

It came to pass.  The promise came to pass.  Jesus is God’s promise of a Savior fulfilled.  We need to claim that promise.  We have the nativity.  The angels were sent from God to the fields of Bethlehem to a group of shepherds watching over the flocks by night.  The angels were excited.  They said for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  After the heralding of this message they sang praises of glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  The angels told the shepherds where the baby would be—wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.

The angels went back to heaven signifying an ending.  They finished their job here but went to heaven to keep going on.  The first Christmas was the advent, but it was not the end.  There is no end to the real Christmas.  This was only the beginning.  His coming began something wonderful. When the shepherds returned to their fields, when the wise men went back to their country, and when the baby left the manger it was not over.  The beginning of the work of salvation began.  Only one was qualified to be Savior.  He was now on earth in human form.  The work of salvation would be accomplished on the cross and completely finished with the resurrection.

We can’t stop 2013 from winding down.  We can throw our watches against the wall and bust them.  We can take our calendars down and throw them away.  Time will still go on.  We can’t stop it.  If you’re unsaved you can’t count on tomorrow.  Jesus Christ moved on so you could have a Savior.

The way the calendar is reckoned is according to the birth of Christ—B.C. and A.D.  B.C. means before Christ and A.D. is Anno Domini which stands for in the year of the Lord.  His coming marked a change.  We need to reckon our time around him.  If we trust Jesus there won’t be an ending.  We’ve only just begun.  Things have changed physically for me since I got saved at the age of 17, but I still feel the same in my heart.  I’ve only just begun.

We have no idea what’s ahead.  Signs are things may not be so good in 2014.  There is more ahead for the good in the life of a Christian than there is bad.  The birth of Jesus Christ was a beginning that keeps on going.  Angels went back to heaven singing a new song because earth had a Savior.  Jesus was born and moved on to be the Savior.  Throughout his ministry we find him moving on.  Angels ministered to him in the wilderness.  They ministered unto him in the Garden.  It was a new beginning for the shepherds.  They went back to their fields honored to have met the Christ.  They told everyone they met that the Savior had been born.  The wise men returned home a different way and their people saw a difference in them because they had found the one for whom they searched.  If you seek him, you’ll find him too.  Finding him is only the beginning. Life is never the same after finding Jesus.  Every day has its own set of problems and challenges for us.  We’ve all lost something in 2013 be it physical, family, or otherwise.  By no means has it ended.  Jesus Christ still reigns.  It doesn’t matter what Washington or Hollywood says.  It’s still going on.

Simeon saw Jesus Christ and knew it was only the beginning.  He said he could now depart in peace.  That’s the only way we’ll depart in peace—by meeting the Christ.  Anna was in the temple daily praising God.  Both looked for the Messiah.  They did not spend their lives in vain.  Let’s make it a point to be faithful to God’s house in 2014.  It won’t be in vain.  The God of this house lives forevermore.

The next time we hear about the family, they had moved from the stable to a house.  Then they went to Egypt.  Finally they were able to return to Nazareth.  Jesus didn’t stay in the stable.  The work there was done.  The stable was emptied so a cross could be occupied.  In between the two there was Egypt and journeys across Judah and Galilee.  It was a rough road between the stable and the cross.  He kept moving for one reason—us.  He did it for you and me.  With blood running from his body he looked down and said Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.  Jesus has authority to forgive us.  He did it all.  We’ve just begun.  One thousand years from now we’ll only have just begun.  He has made every moment a new beginning.

Do you need a new beginning?  Find it in Jesus.

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