Dec 25, 2007

Welcome Immanuel

Incarnation. The greatest moment in human history is celebrated today. Immanuel - God with us. No one thought of that on this side of heaven. That thought could only come from God alone. Humans have come up with all manners of thought about salvation. Most of them involve us saving ourselves. Our merit must count for something. However, God said that the only way was to come and take care of the problem himself. So, God did the unthinkable. The Creator becomes human. The glory of God wrapped in a robe of flesh. That is the meaning of Christmas. But is it really?

In this day and age where the meaning of the author has no relevance and the only relevance is what it means to you, how can we really understand or appreciate something as unthinkable as the Incarnation. No wonder we have commercialized Jesus' birth so much. I even heard one local pastor say recently that Christmas is about someone else's birthday and we get the presents. Is this really what God intended? What else should we expect? Humans have always been very good at taking the story of God and making it much about us...Which really makes it not much of an interesting story at the end. I think that most people in the church today, many of them well-meaning but mis-informed, think that Christ came to make us better people. He came to provide a way to bring us to a greater blessing. When you read the story, which way do you read it - GOD with us or God with US? Be honest in how you answer that one.

Jesus. Let me just take a moment to thank you for doing what you had to do to ransom the glory of God away from us. Thank you for agreeing to suffer the humiliation of a stable and a cross. Thank you that while you were the main character of the story, you never seemed to toot your own horn. I think if you actually did decide to come today you probably wouldn't make the Christian best seller list at Lifeway. I have a hard time thinking you would have gotten a $13 million advance on your upcoming book. However, you came anyway. And despite all the ways that I have forgotten today that this day is about you - from the stack of presents I gave my kids that they don't deserve to the hours I spent cooking a meal that wasn't that good. For just a few moments I would like to say, "Happy Birthday."


Brenda said...

Thanks for these beautiful thoughts. I agree that we silly humans always want to make everything about us. Each day, I repeat "It is always all about you God" and try to dwell on that for a while. Even then, I wind up making it about me in some way. I'm so grateful for God's grace and patience with me.