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Foundations For Our Future #45

Foundations for Our Future (45)

by: The Reverened Dr. Jon Shuler

Customs have developed over many centuries in the life of the church, and all of them are rooted in the desire that they would help make holy the entire life of believers. Thus it was that the church began to pay extra attention to certain days and seasons. Not so they would become a burden, but that they might help to set us free. The first of these days was the Day of Resurrection, known to us as Easter. The second was the Nativity of the Lord, known to us as Christmas.

Matthew begins his gospel with a genealogy. He recounts the physical descent of Jesus to his earthly guardian and father, Joseph (Matthew 1:1-17). Then he immediately describes the miraculous spiritual truth that our Lord was born to a virgin named Mary, and that his true Father is Almighty God. (Matthew 1:18-25) Mary conceived because the Holy Spirit of God enfolded her in his grace and truth, and the second person of the Trinity took human flesh. Nine months later the child was born. The incarnate son of God.

From the beginning believers have been in such awe before this great and glorious mystery, that they marked the time as special above almost all others. Just such devotion led to the ancient English custom of keeping twelve days for the Christmas Season. The joy and wonder of it all was too much for one day. On the night of December 24th, twelve glorious days would begin.