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Devotional: The Greatest Sign and Sacrifice

The Greatest Sign and Sacrifice Devo Pic

To help you and your family celebrate this season of Advent, we have included a scripture reading and a song with this devotional. We suggest reading the scripture before the devotional and singing the song after reading both. 

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7

Song: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

The Greatest Sign and Sacrifice

This Christmas will be a special one for our family. It is my and Josh’s second Christmas as a married couple, but it is our first Christmas with Wesley (at least with Wesley on the outside)! Wesley will be six months old a few days before Christmas. He is growing and changing fast. As I have had the precious gift of watching him grow over the past six months, I have also been given the gift of insight. Before having Wesley, I hadn’t spent much time around children less than two or three years old. I remember staring at Wesley in awe as I held him in my arms a few hours after he was born. He was so tiny and seemed so fragile. At some point, I had the thought that there was a time when Jesus was just like Wesley; so small and so vulnerable. As I have continued to love Wesley and watch Him grow, I am continually amazed by the humility and love of Christ to enter into this world as a vulnerable, fragile new-born baby.

Pastor Barry’s sermon this week was entitled “The Sign of Immanuel”. He explained that the signs in the book of Isaiah and in the Old Testament are meant to confirm existing faith; they are not meant to create faith. Those who argue that they would have faith if God gave them a sign will continue to struggle because faith is not the belief in something that has been proven to you. Faith in the Lord is trusting in Him and His promises to us. In His grace, He gives us signs which affirm our faith. Isaiah 7:14 says, Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (ESV) The greatest sign the Lord has given us is the birth of Jesus Christ.

In His sermon, Pastor Barry asked the question, “What more evidence do we need? What more proof do we need of God’s love for us than the sending of His son?” While I do not believe I will ever fully understand the love of God this side of heaven, this Christmas I am a little bit closer as I look through the window He has given me into the birth of Jesus Christ. God’s willingness to give up His throne to enter this world in a completely helpless and fragile state is the greatest sacrifice we will ever know. As Wesley has been part of our life, some people have joked with me that it must be nice to be a baby – people tell you how cute you are and carry you around all day! But in reality, I can’t think of any reason why I would want to surrender my life and my control to be wholly and completely dependent on someone else for my needs. So, if I, a mere human, could not find it in myself to submit myself to the vulnerabilities of becoming a baby, how much more magnificent is the sacrifice made by God, the Almighty, who gave up more than we could ever imagine, to be born as a baby in the stall of a barn. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, ESV) If we open our eyes to the humble sacrifice God made so many years ago, God enters in to show us how vast His love for us truly is. 

Dear friends, if you are wrestling with faith this Christmas or maybe you are feeling far away from God, I urge you to truly consider the sacrifice made by God through the birth of His son, Jesus Christ. He willingly surrendered His throne to come to earth as a tiny, new-born baby, all the while knowing that the very people He came to save would be the people who put Him to death. “What more proof do we need of God’s love for us than the sending of His son?” None. We need only to trust, in faith, that the promises of grace and salvation are true. And we can do this through knowing the love and sacrifice in the sign God gave us the night Jesus was born.