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Are you ready for the Third Day of Christmas?

Scripture Reading: Matthew 1:23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us."

Luke 1:35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Reflection: In the English Christmas carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," the gift given on the third day is “three French hens.” In Scripture the number three speaks to that which is Divine and marks Divine completeness or perfection. Three is the number associated with the Trinity or Godhead, for there are "three persons in one God." In response the Seraphim cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy.” (Isaiah 6:3)

Divine perfection is also found in the blessing given in Numbers 6:23-24:

•"The LORD bless thee and keep thee (the Father);

•The LORD make His face shine upon thee; and be gracious unto thee (the Son);

•The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace" (the Holy Spirit).

Whereas the number one speaks to putting God first and two to the power of agreement; the number three stands for that which is divine, whole, perfect, complete, and entire. While the exact origin and the meaning of the Christmas carol we have been speaking to is unknown, the origin and meaning of the Christ child is perfectly known. The baby Jesus is Immanuel—God with us. He is as Paul told the Colossians, God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (Jesus Christ) and in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

On our third day of Christmas, therefore, let us focus on the Divine fullness revealed in our Lord and Savior. We see this Divine fullness in the Gospels. The Gospel of Mark speaks to the divine power of the man Jesus, as evidence of His supernatural being and on Him walking the earth as a man. Matthew's Gospel speaks of Jesus as Israel’s Messiah who is the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. In contrast, Luke places his Gospel by the side of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the prominence it gives to the completeness found in the Divine Being, the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The writer of Hebrews speaks to His fullness and perfection in Hebrews 5:7-10. During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Lastly, the mystery of the Incarnation declares that Jesus Christ came as a child born (genetically a natural man) and a Son given (genetically The Supernatural Son of God). In Him all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. He is unique; nothing like Him has ever been seen in another. He is sent forth from the Father, in the form of a servant, made in the likeness of men, full of grace and truth. While we are speaking of the Divine perfections of Christ, let us note some of marks and seals of this completeness.

The perfection of His offices are shown in His being Prophet, Priest, and King, raised up from among His brethren (Deuteronomy 17:15, 18:3-5, and 18:15).

The Divine completeness of Jesus Christ as Shepherd (John 6:39), is seen in His revelations as--

• The "Good Shepherd" in death (John 10:14).

• The "Great Shepherd" in resurrection (Hebrews 13:20).

• The "Chief Shepherd" in glory (1 Peter 4:5).

Prayer: I kneel before You Father, and like the Apostle Paul, I pray that out of Your glorious riches You would strengthen me with power through Your Spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may fully dwell in my heart through faith. And I pray that, being rooted and established in love, I may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-- that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (see Ephesians 3:14-19)

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