mary and the angel

The Pastor’s Quill


By Pastor Tim Hodge
Dec 10, 2017

Merry CHRISTmas! This time of year brings varying degrees of challenges and joys. Some deal with the pain of an empty spot in our hearts and an empty chair at family gatherings where those we love may no longer be with us. Many in our economically strained elements deal with how to pay for Christmas gifts (and no matter how ‘superficial’ we may call the gifts, they are still something we want to be able to give). There are many joys though. One may be seeing little faces of children light up when handed a beautifully wrapped package with their name on it. That certainly warms the coldest of hearts and eases the hardest of circumstances.

The original Christmas bore all those same degrees of emotion and experience. Our heavenly Father was in the process of giving His only begotten Son, Jesus, to be delivered into the earth where He would work toward the culmination of securing redemption for lost mankind. While the Father was looking toward finished product, the process would take the painful death of His dear Son, the Prince of Glory. There was never a question in God’s commitment to paying this immense price. Neither was there ever a question in the sufficiency of the price. Still, the harsh reality of the looming transaction on the cross was a reality that would, at the appointed time, have to be dealt with. The motivation in all of this was salvation; that joyous moment of re-birth exploding within the human heart as mankind could call on Jesus and step from death to life – from darkness to light – from slavery in sin to sonship with the heavenly Father.

Yes, CHRISTmas is a time of joy. In spite of all the difficulties and hardships this world possesses, there is ALWAYS a reason to rejoice. Christ came TO us. Christ came FOR us. Of that I am sure. Two thousand years later and this truth still makes the awakened heart look up in gratitude to a loving God.

CHRISTmas, however, was not just past-tense. CHRISTmas, and the demonstrated love and power it embodies, continues today. It continues DAILY and not just on a designated moment of time in the waning days of December. CHRISTmas is a reality to us because the integral third Person of the Trinity was, and is, very actively involved in all of the ordained processes of our sovereign God.

Miracles come by the Holy Spirit. The divine interventions, interruptions, and invasions of the supernatural come by the Holy Spirit. God the Father is on the throne. God the Son is at His right hand. God the Holy Spirit is at work in the earth. WE NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT!

In the Christmas story, Gabriel, the messenger angel, was dispatched to Nazareth, a small, junky town in the region Galilee. He was on assignment to find a specific virgin girl named Mary. He told her she would conceive a child in her womb and He would be the Son of God. In this child all the plans of heaven would be fulfilled. Mary’s initial response was, “How can this be, since I do not know a man” (Luke 1:34)? The following verse shows the angel’s pointed reply, “And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God’” (Luke 1:35).

I don’t know about you, but Tim Hodge is thrilled at the fact the Holy Spirit caused LIFE to germinate in that virgin’s womb. I am thrilled that Jesus came into the earth by sovereign, supernatural design. I am still being thrilled because I know the Holy Spirit can still overshadow any element of human life, need, and expectation; bringing forth the sovereign will of God in the earth.

Jesus came by the Holy Spirit. He lived His life as a man dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Every believer today lives the same way: BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. With that in mind, I will leave you with these words: WE NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT!