Summary: Jesus became a man to deliver us from God's wrath. His birth does speak of divine justice, of heavenly mercy and God's love. But, that love delivers us from judgement. If we reject the love of God in Christ the Lord, nothing remains but God's wrath.

“I will tell of the decree:

The LORD said to me, ‘You are my Son;

today I have begotten you.

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,

and the ends of the earth your possession.

You shall break them with a rod of iron

and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;

be warned, O rulers of the earth.

Serve the LORD with fear,

and rejoice with trembling.

Kiss the Son,

lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,

for his wrath is quickly kindled.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” [1]

Christmas, and our thoughts turn automatically to … God’s wrath? God’s wrath? What? What sort of Christmas message would focus on God’s wrath? What sort of cruel hoax would lead a minister of God to speak of divine wrath on the Sunday before Christmas? Shouldn’t we be thinking of gaily wrapped presents, of Scots pine trees decorated with tinsel and gaily coloured orbs, and the tintinnabulation of bells. Shouldn’t we be thinking of tables groaning under the weight of platters of delectable dishes waiting to be enjoyed by families gathered to the feast? Shouldn’t we be encouraging the warm feelings that accompany families gathering for a joyous day of laughter and the exchange of gifts?

All the warm, fuzzy feelings that we associate with thoughts of Christmas arise from a story without biblical basis. Jesus’ birth meant sorrow for many in Israel; and His presence means pain and sorrow for many to this day.. We forget Jesus’ words, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” [MATTHEW 10:34-38].

We forget the stern warning voiced by old Simeon when Joseph and Mary brought the newborn babe to Jerusalem to be circumcised. Holding the babe, Simeon prophesied, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed” [LUKE 2:34-35].

The birth of this child would mean sorrow throughout the region around Bethlehem. Herod was furious because of the birth of this child, and he ordered the murder of multiple infants because of Jesus. Thus, we read of the king’s fury in Matthew’s account of the birth of the Saviour, “Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

‘A voice was heard in Ramah,

weeping and loud lamentation,

Rachel weeping for her children;

she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.’”

[MATTHEW 2:16-18]

The heartbreak of mothers and fathers helplessly witnessing the murder of infant sons would be felt throughout all Judea, and perhaps beyond. The birth of this one child would mean grief, unimaginable sorrow, horror at the anguish His presence would bring.


“I will tell of the decree:

The LORD said to me, ‘You are my Son;

today I have begotten you.

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,

and the ends of the earth your possession.

You shall break them with a rod of iron

and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”

[PSALM 2:7-9]

The decree of the LORD, delivered in this Psalm, though often ignored, is nevertheless recognised throughout Christendom as pointing to Christ. Some might imagine it speaks of David, but we pastors are well-nigh universally agreed that this decree is to be applied to the Son of God. We teach the doctrine and we would argue that we are obedient to the implications of what the LORD has said through the Psalmist. However, at the practical level, we who are called by the Name of the Saviour struggle to put into practise what is taught.

In order to examine the verity of this assertion, join me in teasing apart what the LORD has declared in this decree. As we open our consideration today, observe first that the decree identifies Someone as the LORD’s Son. To assure ourselves who the Son of the LORD might be, we appeal to the Word. In the pages of Scripture, we discover Who it is that should be recognised as the Son of the LORD. Throughout the pages of the New Testament, the Son of God is identified. One prominent example of this identification is given in the opening words of Paul’s letter to the saints in Rome. “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord” [ROMANS 1:1-4].

As the Apostle opens this missive to the saints in Rome, readers will note that Paul repeatedly points us to the one Person necessary for living a godly life. And Paul moves quickly to exalt that Person even as he opens the missive. Paul reminds each one who is reading this letter that the Son of God is descended from David according to the flesh. He then quickly reminds the reader that Jesus our Lord is declared to be God’s Son in power by His resurrection from the dead. He is Son of God with power, and His resurrection from the dead was demonstration of God’s power. Jesus conquered death, proving that He is who He claimed to be.

Elsewhere, Paul instructs all Christians, “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’

‘O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?’

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” [1 CORINTHIANS 15:50-57].

Should an individual be confused as to whether the Apostle is actually referring to Jesus as he writes in that Letter to the saints in Rome, he puts that issue to rest by stating in plain language that he is focused on Jesus Christ our Lord. According to the Apostle, Jesus Christ, the One whom we Christians know as “Master,” is the Son of God. Paul pivots as quickly as possible to focus on Christ Jesus. It is as though he is determined that no one will mistake his purpose in writing this letter.

The Apostle’s position sets an example for anyone who thinks to preach the Gospel. Each preacher of the Gospel must move quickly to Jesus the Son of God if that preacher will fulfil the ministry he has received. Each Christian telling the lost to be saved must point those inquiring to the One who saves, or that believer has no testimony worth hearing. Christ the Lord is central to all that we will ever accomplish of eternal worth. Without Him, we have little purpose in living since we are living as though He has not central role in our life.

Another portion of the decree invites the Son to ask for the earth and all that lies within it as His heritage. The LORD invites the Son,

“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,

and the ends of the earth your possession.”

[PSALM 2:8]

The Father promises the Son that He shall inherit the nations. Satan attempted to circumvent the will of the Father when he tempted the Master. You may recall how, “The devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me’” [MATTHEW 4:8-9]. Satan was not making an idle offer. Though Christ shall reign, He does not now reign over earth; it is Satan who reigns over the earth at this time.

Jesus is a model of courage for any who read the Gospels. Nevertheless, our Lord did grow introspective as He drew near to the time of His Passion. The writer of the Letter to Hebrew Christians is guided by the Spirit of God to write, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence” [HEBREWS 5:7].

We see Jesus’ request of the Father when Matthew writes, “Taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.’ And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will’” [MATTHEW 26:37-39]. And a second time, Jesus prayed “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done” [MATTHEW 26:42]. We cannot comprehend the anguish our Lord experienced when bearing the sin of the world.

At one point, Jesus openly confessed the struggle to accept the challenge He faced. You may recall the account as recorded in John’s Gospel. We read how Jesus said, “‘Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour?” But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven: ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him’” [JOHN 12:27-29].

Our Lord’s response to what was spoken from heaven and to the speculation of the crowd that pressed around Him is what is important for the purpose of this message. Focus on the verses that follow. There we read Jesus’ response, “Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself’” [JOHN 12:30-32].

Jesus spoke of “the ruler of this world” being cast out. He was referring to Satan. Later, speaking of His Passion, the Master would tell His disciples, “You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father” [JOHN 14:28-31a]. Again, the Master is cautioning that Satan—the ruler of this world—would shortly come.

When He promised that the Holy Spirit would come, Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” [JOHN 16:7b-11]. The ruler of this world—Satan—is judged. The Spirit of God assures the heart of the follower of the Christ that the wicked one is judged.

The point of this excursus is to emphasise that Satan is now the ruler of this world, the ruler of the nations. However, that shall not always be, for the Father has decreed that there is coming a day when the Son shall receive the nations so that He may rule. What an image we have presented as John witnessed that day.

From the perspective of mankind, the LORD God is inviting the Son to take control of Creation, the earth and all that is in it. This is not a meaningless invitation—Christ the Lord created all things. All that exists is His by divine right. Why should He not assume the rule over what He has created?

As the seventh judgement begins, announced by a trumpet call sounded by an angel, John saw and heard what was happening in heaven. We read in the Apocalypse, “The seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.’ And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying,

‘We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,

who is and who was,

for you have taken your great power

and begun to reign.

The nations raged,

but your wrath came,

and the time for the dead to be judged,

and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,

and those who fear your name,

both small and great,

and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.’”

[REVELATION 11:15-18]

A final portion of the decree asserts that the Son will crush those who set themselves in opposition to His reign. This can be somewhat difficult for people to accept. We are accustomed to thinking of the “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” and especially at this Christmas season. However, we must remember that Christ is appointed to judge. The Master cautioned that He will come in His glory, and the nations will be judged at that time. Jesus taught, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked, and you clothed me, I was sick, and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me no food, I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” [MATTHEW 25:31-46]. This judgement of the nations takes place at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation.

I urge each listener to recall the Saviour’s statement concerning His role as Judge of all. “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” [JOHN 5:22-24].

When He had given this teaching, the Master continued with this admonition for all, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me” [JOHN 5:25-30].

Jesus is the Judge of the hearts of all people. That this was the understanding even of the Apostles becomes apparent when Peter testified, “[God] commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” [ACTS 10:42-43].

The knowledge that Christ is Judge should terrify those who do not know Him. However, each one who knows Him, or rather who is known by Him, should be filled with joy. How frightful is the warning that the Lord delivered when, during the Sermon on the Mount, He spoke of the day when people will attempt to claim the right to admission into the hallowed precincts of the blessed. The Master warned, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’” [MATTHEW 7:21-23].

This warning issued in the early days of His earthly ministry anticipated the same warning delivered near the end of His days of ministry. At that time, as we witnessed earlier, Jesus warned that many will hear His stern words, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” [MATTHEW 25:41]. Let the knowledge that He shall judge you serve to drive you to Him. For if you trifle with the grace of God revealed in Jesus our Lord, what hope remains for you?


“Now therefore, O kings, be wise;

be warned, O rulers of the earth.

Serve the LORD with fear,

and rejoice with trembling.

Kiss the Son,

lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,

for his wrath is quickly kindled.”

[PSALM 2:10-12a]

The LORD God issued a decree, and He appended an admonition for all who heard the decree. The LORD God admonishes all, and especially those who are considered to be rulers, to “serve the LORD,” humbly, willingly, obediently. Moreover, the service all people are admonished to render is to be offered to the Living God through the Son. People are to reveal fealty to the Son, but it is voluntary fealty offered in light of His might and in full knowledge and absolute certainty of divine judgement! Christ alone is qualified to judge the heart.

We become casual about His divine admonitions. I suppose that is natural in the secular world; after all, why worry about a God whom you have dismissed. Even if that God has warned you of the consequences of rejecting Him, because you don’t believe in Him, neither do you believe Him when He speaks. Why heed His words? However, it is much more difficult to account for the folly of refusing to heed Him when simultaneously professing to believe in Him.

I am always humbled in the knowledge that God delivered Israel, and among the final words Moses spoke to those people before they were to enter into the Promised Land was a warning. The LORD, through Moses warned, “If you are not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, the LORD your God, then the LORD will bring on you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions, afflictions severe and lasting, and sicknesses grievous and lasting. And he will bring upon you again all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. Every sickness also and every affliction that is not recorded in the book of this law, the LORD will bring upon you, until you are destroyed. Whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, you shall be left few in number, because you did not obey the voice of the LORD your God. And as the LORD took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the LORD will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

“And the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. And among these nations you shall find no respite, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot, but the LORD will give you there a trembling heart and failing eyes and a languishing soul. Your life shall hang in doubt before you. Night and day you shall be in dread and have no assurance of your life. In the morning you shall say, ‘If only it were evening!’ and at evening you shall say, ‘If only it were morning!’ because of the dread that your heart shall feel, and the sights that your eyes shall see. And the LORD will bring you back in ships to Egypt, a journey that I promised that you should never make again; and there you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer” [DEUTERONOMY 28:58-68].

God would bless His people, but He would not tolerate rebellion. And the natural inclination of the heart is rebellion against Holy God. Man is characterised by a propensity to exalt his own opinion over the will of the Holy One. When people do that, God will judge. In the Psalm, the judgements are falling on nations, on societies, on civilisations; and the Lord does judge these groups.

However, we need to know that the Lord our God is prepared to judge churches and denominations, just as He is prepared to judge families and individuals who set themselves in opposition to Him. Know that if you rebel against the Living God, if you decide that your pleasure takes precedence over honouring Him, He will hold you to account. This is especially true if you are one of His followers. This is the admonition we have forgotten. “Have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,

nor be weary when reproved by him.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

and chastises every son whom he receives.’

“It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” [HEBREWS 12:5-11].

It is mercy that we are not destroyed. I am deeply humbled when I remember the sins that have contaminated my life. And yet, the Lord has been pleased to allow me to serve Him. What grace! What mercy! I know with certainty the rebellion that lurks in my heart, and still the Saviour is pleased to permit me to serve as a servant of the Lord God.

Among the messages with which I am charged is this one which confronts wickedness in our world—God must judge the society that exalts evil. The culture that elevates wickedness must know that it shall be called to account. Like Amos of old, the man of God who speaks today is appointed to bring the hard message,

“Thus I will do to you, O Israel;

because I will do this to you,

prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”

[AMOS 4:12]

The LORD did not spare His ancient people when He exposed sin in their midst; neither will He spare us as our sin becomes increasingly pervasive throughout our culture. We have despised Him and treat His gift of children with disrespect. We reject Him and exalt wickedness as though the choice of rebellion and sin was something positive, something to celebrate. We spit in the face of Holy God and demand that His servants be quiet. And should we expect that the Living God will continue to bless us?


“Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”

[PSALM 2:12b]

The final strophe is a source of joy after reading the severe warnings issued in this Psalm. Throughout the Psalm, we have read how the Living God exalts His Son, admonishing those living in this world to honour Him as the Son of God. We have read that those who refuse to honour the Son as the Son of the Living God must face the wrath of the Holy One. Now, in a final statement, God pronounces a blessing. Perhaps it is unexpected, but it does reveal the character of God. We know from Scripture, “God is love” [see 1 JOHN 4:8, 16].

It is easy for a casual reader to overlook the blessing pronounced in this Psalm, just as it is distressingly easy for us to overlook the blessing that accompanies the Advent of the Saviour. I wonder if we take for granted the multiplied blessings of God. Modern life is defined by comforts unknown to our forebears—appliances ensure that we enjoy a much easier life than our parents ever dreamed possible, whatever threats to our nation appear remote since we depend on our neighbours to defend us, there seems to be enough money to ensure we never fall into poverty. Well, none of us are starving or forced to live without adequate shelter. Has the Lord shown us mercy? Are we blessed? Or is this what we deserve because we are Canadian?

I sometimes wonder if Bart Simpson is the unofficial spokesman for modern Canadians in our attempts to bless God for His generosity. Asked to return thanks before a Thanksgiving meal, Bart prayed, “Dear God, we paid for all this stuff ourselves; so thanks for nothing.” [2] Such arrogance seems characteristic of our culture. Too often, we are at the centre of our requests of God! Even we who are called by the Name of the Risen Saviour tend to focus on our own desires rather than God’s glory. Consequently, we are unaware of the multiple blessings showered on us.

Among the richest of God’s blessings is this particular blessedness which is promised to “all who take refuge in Him.” In the Son of God is found a refuge; and we need that refuge! Storms sweep across the landscape of our lives, and we need a refuge, a covert that will shelter us until the storm passes by. You face those storms on a regular basis.

Perhaps it is an unexpected bill for which you failed to set aside sufficient monies to pay for that bill. Where will you turn? You will resort to the Lord God for wisdom and for help, if you have made Him your refuge.

Perhaps it is a diagnosis which caught you by surprise; but now it will mean a threat to your continued service to your family and to the Saviour. How will you cope? If Christ is your refuge, you will turn to Him first, calling on Him and seeking His grace and mercy. You have learned to rest in Him, but now you will need to depend on Him if you are to have strength and wisdom to respond to this new challenge.

Perhaps it is a long-term illness that leaves you exhausted with the thought that nothing will ever change. You have grown so weary that you are not certain that you want to continue living. How can you survive when you are this exhausted? There is but one answer to the struggle you face, and that is to resort to the Son of God, finding refuge in Him.

Perhaps it is a breakup of your marriage. Your spouse just announced that she no longer loves you, or perhaps that she has decided to find love in the arms of someone else. How will you respond? Raging will not change her love. Threats against her new lover will do nothing. What shall you do? If you turn to anyone other than the Lord who is a refuge for all who seek Him, you will find no help.

Perhaps you have been accused unjustly. Another saint has charged you with malfeasance, though it is a lie. Your reputation has been shredded and other believers are deliberately avoiding you—they are uncomfortable, unsure of what to say or what they should do. You feel alone. Where shall you turn? Protesting your innocence will not work to restore your reputation. Where does one go to restore the reputation that has been destroyed by the thoughtless words or actions of another? There is but one place for us to go, and that is to the Lord who knows us.

God has blessed us. Surely we are not ungrateful! Surely we are willing to express our gratitude for the rich blessings we have received. Surely we are not insensible to the richness of our lives because of His mercy and grace.

Shortly, we will gather with family in an observance of Christmas. What will we be doing as we gather? Will this be a celebration of family? We will go through the ritual of exchanging gifts, especially within our families. We will greet family and friends, sitting down to a table groaning under the weight of food before eating far more than we should. Perhaps we will retire to the living room where we’ll sit and talk, though some will go silent as they watch an ersatz representation of life on the television.

What will be missing in far too many of our homes will be expressions of gratitude to God for the blessings He has showered on us. For all the gaiety, for all the warm feelings of being with family and friends, what will be absent in far too many of our celebrations is honouring the One Person who should be honoured. We say we are honouring Jesus, who is the Christ. We even name this event in His honour—Christmas. If we celebrate and never mention His Name, never do anything to honour Him, can we say that it was truly Christmas? This is a plea to the professed people of God to remember who we are, to remember that the relationship we enjoy with the Living God is because of Christ the Lord. This is a plea to all who name His Name to worship Him. Amen.

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[2] “Bart’s Prayer,”,, accessed 29 July 2019