Christmas Reflections

Monday, 14th December 2020
Image: christmas-reflections

Christmas Reflections

By Dr David Luke (IBC Tutor)

Part of what we all long for at Christmas is the comfort of the familiar. We take comfort from our Christmas routines and perhaps we will do so all the more this Christmas.

There are so many familiar parts to Christmas—the cards, the presents, the tree, the lights and our Christmas morning routines. And of course there is also the birth of Jesus. Yes, it rolls off the tongue as easily as that—the birth of Jesus! The birth of Jesus sits comfortably with the trees and the tinsel. The fact that the Son of God entered this world as a baby has, it seems, lost its power to shock us.

Even with the passage of 2,000 years the fact of the birth of Jesus should be no less shocking when we consider, as the poet Christopher Smart put it, that

‘God all-bounteous, all-creative

Who no ills from good dissuade,

Is incarnate, and a native

Of the very world He made.’


The birth of Jesus certainly shocked those involved with the events of that time. Mary, His mother, was ‘deeply troubled’ and asked, ‘how can this be, since I am a virgin?’ When Jesus’ birth on this night of nights was announced to the shepherds in the fields outside Bethlehem we read that they were ‘filled with fear.’  The wise men were so amazed by what they saw in the sky that they travelled a great distance to worship this new King. Even King Herod was ‘troubled’ as were the people of Jerusalem. The songwriter Michael Card even seeks to capture the feelings of Joseph,

‘How could it be?

This baby in my arms

Sleeping so peacefully

The Son of God the angel said

How could it be?’


For all who came to realise the significance of what they were witnessing in the birth of Jesus their response was one of worship. For they recognised that Jesus was no ordinary child but the one whom God had promised centuries before— ‘Immanuel, God with us.’ Here was no ordinary baby but ‘the Son of the Most High.’ He was the Christ, the promised Messiah who was given the name ‘Jesus’ for He would save His people from their sins.

It is important that at Christmas we take time in the midst of all that is familiar to think again about the magnitude of what has occurred—that God has sent His Son, the one by whom, for whom and through whom all things were made, into the world to save us from the guilt, the shame and the power of sin.

Athanasius, one of the Church Fathers, in his work On the Incarnation captured its wonder writing ‘For now that He has come to our realm, and taken up his abode in one body among His peers, henceforth the whole conspiracy of the enemy against mankind is checked, and the corruption of death which before was prevailing against them is done away. For the race of men had gone to ruin, had not the Lord and Saviour of all, the Son of God, come among us to meet the end of death.’


At this Christmas amongst all that is familiar let us wonder afresh and let us worship.

‘Sinners wrung by true repentance,

Doom’d for guilt to endless pains,

Justice now revokes the sentence,

Mercy calls you, break your chains;

Come and worship

Worship Christ the new-born King.’

    Blog Archive

Let’s Read Irish Baptist College Conference (Online) From Intern to Undergraduate (Emily Middleton) Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The Reason for Redemption Baptists and Revival in the Long 18th Century Second Year Placements From Intern to Undergraduate (Josh Brown) Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The What and Why of Holiness Final Year During A Pandemic 2nd Year Placement Experience Friends of the College 2021 Update The Art of Reading More Books Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — The Real Possibility of Holiness A Basic Easter Fact The Servant King Podcast Let's Read: The Hole in our Holiness — You Are Holy Third Year Reflection Gospel Guardians: Protecting the Purity of the Gospel for Future Generations Graduation 2021 Book Review: Succeeding at Seminary Let's Read: The Hole in Our Holiness — A Work in Progress Why the Irish Baptist College is Vital to the Health of the Association A Good News Story: The Ministry Partnership Scheme Why Study the Biblical Languages? Profit in Toil: A Short Message on A Level Results Day Let's Read: Small Preaching Recognition Service Report 2021 Sin Forgiven: Nourishment for Life and Joy for Living Let’s Read: Small Preaching—The Character of the Preacher Commencement Service Report Placement Friends of the College Update God Rejoices over His People: A Meditation on Zephaniah 3:17 Let’s Read: Small Preaching—Constructing the Sermon Evangelism Teams: Newcastle and Brannockstown Evangelism Teams: Stonepark and North Belfast Christian Fellowship First Year Reflections (Reuben and Andrew) Some New Books Let’s Read: Small Preaching—The Craft of Preaching Let's Read: Small Preaching—What is God Saying? A Christmas Reflection on John 1 - ‘The coming of the light’ Christmas Reflection on John 1 - ‘Life, Light & Glory’
Time to read Genesis...again Friends of the College - January 2020 Friends of the College - January 2020 Finances Tribute to Marion Craig The Resilient Pastor: Surviving & Thriving in Ministry Just a Blow-in? What is new on the shelves at IBC? Friends of the College - February 2020 Four Reasons to Study Theology Academically From Spain to Moira Testimonial Financial Update Friends of the College – March 2020 Irish Baptist Historical Society: The Mayflower Thomas Patient: the Father of the Irish Baptist Church Testimonials The Pastors’ Conference: An Encouraging Privilege Testimonials (part-time studies) In the worst of times: COVID-19 and the Book of Ruth Friends of the College - April 2020 The Long Wait: Victory Delayed Testimonials - Preparation for Ministry and Evening Classes The Leadership Podcast Testimonials - Ladies Study Fellowship The Leadership Podcast (part 2) Friends of the College - May 2020 Reflections from the Student Chairman Why do we teach the Old Testament? Reflections on first year at IBC Friends of the College - June 2020 Why do we teach Romans? IBC Placement Is Church History a Thing of the Past? Friends of the College - July 2020 Friends of the College – August 2020 Friends of the College September 2020 Recognition and Graduation Service Introducing the Irish Baptist College’s New Logo Commencement Service Friends of the College - October 2020 Filled with the Spirit: Soundings in Luke’s Theology of the Holy Spirit The Famous Five: The Abiding Relevance of the Solas of the Reformation Friends of the College - November 2020 The Importance of Theological Training in Fulfilling the Great Commission First Year Reflections — Tim Houston Singing: The Place of Theology in Corporate Worship New Library Books Friends of the College – Unite to Pray – December Christmas Reflections
Agree and Close notice.

By continuing on our website you agree with our Privacy Policy and to the use of cookies by third party plugins. Find out more here