Christmas time in the elementary classroom when I was a teacher always seemed bright and colorful. Lots of creative writing was generated by the season. The Clarion published a special edition insert featuring writing by the students. It was interesting for adults and fun for the students to see their stories, poems, and even artwork published in the paper.
One year, ministers were invited to write about Christmas in twenty-five words or less. Many area pastors responded, and I submitted the following:
A baby came, divinely effective for giving hope; infant Jesus, kindly loving me, neighbors, other people; quintessential redeeming savior, truth unfolding victoriously with exuberant Yuletide zeal.
Jesus can truly be all we need from A to Z. Jesus made this claim in Revelation 22:13 as translated in The Message, “I’m A to Z, the First and the Final, the Beginning and the Conclusion.” The repetition of the concept establishes the truth of all he can be to us.
Speaking of repetition, Handel’s Messiah repeats the phrases from Scripture about Jesus many times in song. The well-known “Hallelujah Chorus” does make you want to stand to honor the One being heralded, as King George II of old did when he first heard the chorus. It is amazing to know the Christ child born in Bethlehem is the one the prophet Isaiah called “Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”
The many “I am” statements of Jesus in the Bible assures us that he is all that we need him to be. He declared “I am” and the list includes the light of the world, the good shepherd, the bread of life, the way, the truth, and the life. My favorite may not fit this pattern, but it is comforting to know he said, “Surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.” (See Matthew 28:20 NIV).
According to Hebrews 12:2, Jesus is “the author and the finisher of our faith.” He is the beginning and he is the ending of believing. He is the originator of our faith and he will bring it to fulfillment.
God stated, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.” (See Isaiah 46:10 NIV). We can trust the one who knows the “end from the beginning” and rely upon his presence and power.
Jesus can be the “A to Z” of Christmas. This is true for all of life’s circumstances as well. He was the creator in the beginning and he will be the king at the conclusion of all things. He is the “First and the Final” pertaining to our faith. He is everything you need for the wonderful gift of everlasting life.
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road and Entrada. Everyone is invited to a Christmas celebration to be presented on Dec. 16 at 11:00 a.m.