Incarnation ~ Miracle and Mystery

December 11, 2007 — Leave a comment

nativityi.jpgI invite us to reflect deeply this Advent on these words – some gleaned from Scripture and some from the ‘Church Fathers.’ 

Why did God – in miracle and mystery – take on a human body.In a word, Love!   “For us and for our salvation” says the Nicene Creed.  To be my Savior, Jesus must be true God and true man.  Salvation must reach the point of human need.  Christ heals my brokenness by taking on himself my human nature.  He became what we are so that we can become what He is.  He was made man that we might be made like GodHe became “in flesh” that we might be in Christ.  We can partake of the Divine nature (2 Peter 1) because He took on human nature!  

A marvelous wonder has this day come to pass: Nature is made new, and God becomes man… The Word put on a body; the Invisible is seen;  He whom no hand can touch is handled;  And he who has no beginning now begins to be.”

Chuck Colson has a great editorial in CToday you should read as it dovetales perfectly with the teaching and ministry at Christ Church. Here is an excerpt: 

Whenever I’ve preached to inmates over the last 32 years, I’ve read Jesus’ inaugural sermon. When I quote his promise of freedom for the prisoners, the inmates often raise their arms and cheer. Jesus’ message means freedom and victory for those who once had no hope. They aren’t distracted by the encumbrance of wealth.

People in the developing world “get it,” too. Whenever I share these words with poor, oppressed people in foreign lands, I see eyes brightening.

They understand that Jesus came to proclaim a new kingdom, which is one reason why Christianity is exploding in the Global South. People stripped of every material blessing and exploited by earthly powers long for Christ’s bold new kingdom. He turns the world upside down.

It’s no wonder that those opposed to Jesus’ rule ordered him crucified. He was a threat to the established order and the champion of everyone who acknowledged their imprisonment to sin.

As I like to tell prisoners, Jesus was “busted,” betrayed by a “snitch,” and sent to death row, utterly rejected. He was strip-searched and then died on the cross between two thieves, so that we could be freed from the grip of Satan and death.

This Christmas, go ahead and decorate your tree and arrange the figures of your crèche. But do so in the light of this beautiful and earth-shaking truth: The birth of the baby in the manger was the thrilling signal that God had invaded planet Earth.

Christianity won’t rise or fall on whether Wal-Mart employees can say “Merry Christmas.” But its future does depend, in part, on how God’s people advance God’s kingdom, as we help establish his peaceful rule in the present historical moment, until Christ reigns in all his glory.

That we do this is my prayer for Christmas.  Read the whole article, click here.

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