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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

James

It was 50 years ago, in 1963 that that now famous Christmas song “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” was released. Why is Christmas the most wonderful time of the year? Well, here is the answer, according to the song;

“It's the most wonderful time of the year 
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you "Be of good cheer" 
It's the most wonderful time of the year

It's the most wonderful time of the year 
There'll be much mistltoeing 
And hearts will be glowing 
When loved ones are near 
It's the most wonderful time of the year

Now, whilst all these things are true, the reason Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year” is far greater. To find the answer, we need to go back much further than 1963, indeed to 700BC, when, in the Bible, a prophet called Isaiah told of someone who would come who would be called “Wonderful”. Many Christmas cards often depict what he wrote in Isaiah Ch 9 v 6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders, and he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace”. Isaiah was foretelling the advent of Jesus Christ, and 700 years later, history records his birth in Bethlehem. The literal meaning of “Wonderful” as written by Isaiah is “one who will arise and do marvelous, miraculous things”.  

When we trace the life of Jesus, we discover that he fulfilled that prophecy, and was worthy of the title “Wonderful” because he did many marvelous and miraculous things. When Luke wrote his account of the life of Jesus (The Gospel according to St Luke, The Bible) he used many words that all had their root in the word “wonderful”. Some examples are “wonder”, “marvel” and “amazed”

In Luke Chapter 2 we read that the angels had appeared to shepherds, and told them “good news of great joy” that Jesus, the saviour had been born, and the shepherds had found the child and worshipped him. They then proceeded to tell the news of Jesus birth. In verse 18 Luke writes that “all who heard were amazed at what the shepherds told them.

In Luke Chapter 4, Jesus, now aged about 30, was in a synagogue in Nazareth, and read publicly from the prophecy of Isaiah ““The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,   to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.  He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

What was the response of the listeners?

Verse 22 says

“All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips”.

In Luke Chapter 8, Jesus stood at the front of a boat, which was being thrown around in a violent storm. Those on board thought they were going to be shipwrecked and drown. Jesus commanded the wind and the waves to be still, and immediately the storm subsided. In verse 25 Luke tells us “in fear and amazement they asked one another “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him”.

Take time to read the Gospel according to St Luke, and the Gospel according to St Mark, and you will discover that time after time, when Jesus spoke, or when he did something miraculous, those who listened and those who watched wondered, marveled and were amazed.

Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year, not because of kids jingle belling and everyone telling you "Be of good cheer", nor because of much mistltoeing and hearts that are glowing when loved ones are near, but rather, the wonder, the marvel, the amazement that Jesus Christ, the Son of God came into the world He was the one  who did marvelous and miraculous things. The miracle of Christmas, as recorded by Luke in Chapter 2 v 11 is this; “Today, in the town of David, a saviour has been born. He is Christ the Lord”.