One of my favorite things to do during this time of year is to read the biblical accounts that tell about God's invasion into earth. While Matthew and Luke do a splendid job relating the story, I especially like how Paul depicts it. In Philippians 2:7 he says that "Jesus made of himself no reputation but took upon himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men."
That means he took on flesh. He came in the form of something that could be seen by the human eye as well as touched by the human hand. Why did he do it, because that's what we needed. I’m reminded of the story of a small boy's voice that penetrated a thunderstorm one night. It came from the bedroom across the hall. "Daddy, I'm scared!" Out of his groggy, fuzzy sleep, he responded with, "Honey, don't be afraid, Daddy's right across the hall." After a very brief pause the little voice is heard again, "I'm still scared." Always quick with a spiritual insight he responds, "You don't need to be afraid. God is with you. God loves you." This time the pause is longer...but the voice returns, "I don't care about God, Daddy; I want someone with skin on!" Could it not be said that the logic used by the little child is precisely the reason for the Incarnation? After thousands of years of being unsuccessful in trying to convince his people he really loved them, our Creator realized that the best way to do it was to send "someone with skin on." What a way to demonstate love. What a way to calm our fear. What an amazing Christmas gift!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
A tourist was staying overnight in a little Vermont town. He joined a small group of men sitting on the porch of the general store and attempted to strike up a conversation. Getting no response, he asked, "Is there a law against talking in this town?" "Nope," replied one seasoned old Vermonter. "Ain't no law against it. We just like to make sure it's an improvement over silence." When God broke the silence as he was preparing for the coming of his Son, it was because the eternal was about to descend to the earth to reveal the gospel of salvation. It was impossible to even imagine the beauty of what God was preparing. But it was worth speaking about. Just think after 400 years of silence Luke broke through to proclaim a message of peace, hope and joy. It was a message that brought a spirit of rejoicing then and continues now, especially during this time of the year. Enjoy the season. Allow it to speak to your heart those words that always result in a Merry Christmas!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
You and I are too impressed with size. We think the big things are important while the little things are of no significance. But God doesn't measure life the way we do. The big things don't always impress him. The prophet Zechariah asked an interesting question: "For who has despised the day of small things?" This means we had better be careful not to despise that which appears small. Just think we are getting ready to celebrate Christmas. That celebration was made possible because God chose to come to a small town, to a small stable, in the form of a small child. Everything about the event spoke of insignificance as far as the world was concerned. But to those who believe, it was the greatest event to have ever transpired. This little baby would eventually change the world. Again, God is not impressed with the big stuff. When He wants to bring about change He often uses something small. Maybe that's why He said if we give a cup of cold water in His name we would not lose our reward. As we approach this Christmas season let me encourage you to appreciate the large gifts, but don't forget the small. You will never know what changes might transpire through sharing a friendly embrace, a card, a good deed, or merely saying the words "I love you." These expressions of appreciation are the tokens that impress others, but most importantly-God!