Crossroads: The Christ Candle

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room. And heaven and nature sing. And heaven and nature sing. And heaven and heaven and nature sing.”

Christmas Day has finally come! Christ is born! Today, we light the Christ Candle in the center of our Advent wreath. All the candles glow today. The world is bright and warm. Today, Jesus is born! It’s Christmas Day!

In Matthew 1:22-23, we read: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord has said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’—which means, ‘God with us.’ And then Matthew 1:25 records these words: And Joseph gave him the name Jesus.

The baby born to Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago has been called by many different names. Some refer to him as Immanuel. Others simply call him Christ. According to Isaiah 9:6, this baby is known as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and even the Prince of Peace. For some, he is the Branch from Jesse—for others, he is the carpenter from Galilee. Christians speak of him as Lord, Savior, Master, and Friend. This babe in the manger is called by a wide variety of names and titles.

nativity_779596_sm_350But when this baby was born, his mother and father looked at him lying in a manger in that lowly stable in Bethlehem and gave him the name of Jesus. In Hebrew, Jesus literally means “shall save.” It is taken from the name Joshua, which means “Yahweh is salvation.” As we read in Matthew 1:21, Mary will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. In this one beautiful name—Jesus—we are reminded every time we say it or hear it that Jesus came to save us from our sins. In Jesus, salvation has come to us, and through Jesus, we shall be saved.

In his letter to the Christians in Philippi, Paul reminds us about the divinity and saving nature of Jesus. Paul tells us that Jesus,

made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Today, as we light the Christ Candle, we give God thanks for the precious gift of salvation through his Son and our Savior, the babe in the manger—Jesus.


God, thank you for loving us so much that you sent Jesus to come into this world in the form of a baby to grow and mature and to become our Savior. Jesus is truly the best Christmas gift ever given. Thank you, God. Amen.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Kevin Head began serving as Minister to Young Families at First Baptist Roswell, Georgia, in February 2012. He has pastored three churches in Kentucky and more recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 2007, Kevin and his wife, Amy, began a ministry-based counseling practice called New Perspectives for Life in East Cobb, Georgia. He is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., M.Div.) in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Belvedere, South Carolina. His model of ministry is based on John 8 and the amazing, continual grace of Jesus Christ. Kevin and Amy have two children, Jenna and Joshua.

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