God ordains a marvellous birth with eternal consequences…
One thing Christians believe is that there is a God who ordains all things, not just the big things, but even the small things that happen in life. On a recent Breakfast TV program, there was a short segment showing an exploding star that ‘just’ happened in some distant galaxy and we were ‘lucky’ enough to see it. And even though scientists were amazed by the spectacular sight there was no acknowledgement of a powerful God who had ordained that to happen, but simply a reference to the evolving universe.
To know that God ordains all things is a real blessing for us and it is good to be reminded for we are prone to forget so quickly. Take the Christmas event as an example. God ordained beforehand that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2), one of probably many children born around that time. However, for this particular baby to be born at this time and this place, God also ordained it that Caesar Augustus would be moved to issue a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And as a result, Mary and Joseph needed to travel to Bethlehem to be registered so that the Scriptures concerning the birth of the Messiah would be fulfilled (Lk 2:1ff).
Now if you are inclined to think that God ordaining the explosion of a star in some distant galaxy is a far more significant event than ordaining some census to be taken on a small little planet in this vast universe that He had created, you would be making a serious mistake. Likewise, if you were to think that the God-ordained birth of this little baby Jesus in Bethlehem some two thousand years ago is insignificant in the grand scheme of things, you would be making an even greater mistake.
We may often feel pretty small being just one of nearly eight billion people walking on this earth. However, because of what God ordained for His glory to occur in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago, He shows that He loves us more than some exploding star in a distant galaxy. God did not ordain His Son to be born and then die for some distant star, but for us. In fact, God uses all things, whether it be Presidents or Prime Ministers, economic prosperity or poverty, health or illness, for the good of those who love Him in Christ so that He may be glorified as we are conformed more to the image of His Son.
Thankfully, God also ordained that His proclaimed word, guided and effectively applied by the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts to bring us to a saving faith in His only Son as our Saviour and Lord.
All this is and so much more gives us reason for worship and to share this good news this Christmas. The One and Only God, whom we are privileged to call our Father in Christ, not only ordains stars to explode in distant galaxies, but loves us and cares for us and promises to keep us in his safe arms for all eternity, no more clearly seen than in the giving and coming of His Son 2000 years ago. JZ.