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Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Wonder of Christmas

Nativity engraving by Gustave Dore

I've been thinking a lot this season about how amazing that 1st Christmas really was!   This engraving done several centuries ago, captures the atmosphere.  Mary and Joseph were ordinary people - going about life in a pretty ordinary way.  A shocking announcement brought about a shift in their lives of epic proportions.  And for the next 9 months they waited to see the promise!  No doubt a long and difficult wait - with many unkind thoughts and assumptions by those around them.  The shepherds, not the political leaders, were the first to hear the angelic announcement in the middle of the night .... ordinary people going about life in an ordinary way.  Their lives also forever changed by what they witnessed in the skies and then in the manger.  All of this, rather suddenly - unexpectedly really, in the midst of ordinary lives - particularly amazing because God had been silent for 4 centuries.  Nothing new from above... the world was waiting ~ sort of... maybe a lot of people thought the promise would never come.  Maybe they even wondered if there had really ever been a promise. And then --  this announcement in the night! 

But what an amazing thing!  God - known to these people as Almighty, Very Great, Creator, a God of past miracles and difficult laws - now he is showing Himself as a God of Love.  His gift was his own Son - Almighty God coming to live among us - as one of us.  Vulnerable. Completely weak - helpless, as any new baby is.   His trust in this young couple is astounding!  He sent His Son from a heart of love and longing to be connected to his creation - face to face!  Something He desired from the beginning of time - yet - impossible because of the fact of evil which had infiltrated creation from the start.   It was an impossible abyss for people to bridge - it could only be done by God Himself.  So, Jesus came that night in the form of a small baby... human yes - yet also the Son of God!   What great mystery.  And, from scripture we know that it was also in Jesus heart to come.  It was not a begrudging chore - but His desire, out of deep love, to be our rescuer! 

Rescue was needed!  By the people of that day - by the people of today.  God's plan of rescue, the only plan of rescue, was to allow Jesus to be the bearer of all that is unGod-like because it is a price too great for any of us to pay for ourselves, but not too great for the Son of God!  His plan of rescue only requires trust - trust that He is enough - that his gift is enough to satisfy the requirement.  He paid the ransom.   So, Christmas is the beginning of this daring plan of rescue.   Quietly, unobtrusively, the Son of God enters the world as a little baby - on a mission for the next 33 years - to rescue anyone who would wish to be rescued from life apart from Him, which is a life missing all the good that He wants to bestow and a certain judgment.  And instead, He promises Life!   Fully and forever - forgiven and accepted.  

So,  Merry Christmas!
May the deepest meanings of this season find their way into your heart
and allow you to celebrate with great joy! 


2 comments:

Alan Shiner-Szajna My family name was changed. Sometimes I sign my paintings Szajna(pronounced SHY-nuh) and Sometimes just Shiner said...

Very nice! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Helen Read said...

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year to you too! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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