by Christopher Harbin

Your Savior is Born
Christopher B. Harbin
Titus 2:11-14

Presents, wrapping paper, empty boxes thrown to the side take over the space we call home. Many awaken in the morning anxious to surround the tree and open presents, as if this were the reason for the celebration. As one Christmas card I received proclaimed, "have a merry Christmas, but don't forget the one whose birthday it is!" It is very easy to leave Jesus out of our festivities. He is the reason for celebrating, but too easily we ignore him, without neglecting to tell others they should recognize the fact that the whole celebration exists because of God becoming flesh and living in our midst.
It is interesting that Paul speaks of anticipation regarding the manifesting of Jesus Christ. Jesus was already the fulfillment so long-awaited and anticipated. He was the hope of Israel over centuries. From early childhood, we know that angels and shepherds in Luke 2 announced Jesus as the awaited Messiah, the salvation of his people. Simeon and Anna in the temple had spoken of the same. They had already seen the salvation of Israel! How, then, can Paul speak of anticipating Jesus' being manifested? He had already been born. He had already died on the cross. He had risen. What else was there?
Of course, his birth was a motif of happiness and salvation, but that still in a sense of anticipation. He was already the salvation of Israel, as well as our own. What was lacking was precisely what Paul mentions in his letter to Titus. He still needed to be revealed fully as the savior the already was. His manifestation was what was still lacking. It was not lacking for him. It was simply lacking for people like Paul and ourselves.
There in the manger, the grace of God was already present. God had already planned to deal with all through grace motivated by love. His salvation had already there been granted to us. Jesus was already Savior, the Messiah, the King of the universe who came to offer u ...

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