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Ancient Words: A Stone in Zion

December 25, 2021 at 12:00 a.m.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. ( Isaiah 28.16)

Christmas night was filled with all the wonders and excitement that heaven could offer. Kings of the earth had just completed their long and no doubt arduous journey over land and sea for 2 years.

These kings were out of the linage of Shem, Ham and Japheth fulfilling prophecy of old that all nations would bow and present gifts to the newborn King. All of the untold millions of angels held their first worship to the sacrificial lamb as he lay in a manger, a wooden feed trough, depicting the wooden ark built by Noah. All who reside in that ark were saved and now a lamb laying in wood saves all who reside in him.

The morning stars sang as God finished his work of creation and now the host of heavenly bodies pays honor and tribute to the bread of Bethlehem with a single bright light from a star illuminating in laser fashion the stall and the manger and the child born from the womb of a virgin.

A donkey, an ox, a lamb and a dove -- creatures both great and small -- cast their eyes on their Creator. As the ark of Noah drew creatures great and small, this ark of the manger drew the homage of all creation due The Great I AM!

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation -- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.

This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (Col 1:15-23 NIV)

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

As you come to him, the living Stone -- rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him -- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone," and, "A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message -- which is also what they were destined for.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1Pe 2:1-12 NIV)

....They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Rev 4:1-11 NIV)

Merry Christmas!

Scott and Jane Johnson minister with East Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to [email protected]

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