December 22, 2011 · 12:15 AM
I first posted this blog entry a year ago and it’s still one of the things that bugs me about how we celebrate Christmas and amazes me about God’s love for us!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Scrooge about all things Christmas and I very much appreciate the sentiment behind sending Christmas cards. But I do have one particular issue with a certain type of card.
Why is Jesus’ birth often depicted with images that are neat and clean and even royal?
Jesus was born in a manger; i.e. – a place where animals were kept, likely a cave in the side of a hill. It was dirty, stinky and anything but royal. Certainly not how I would have made my entrance were I the King of Kings!
Why would God send Jesus into the world in such a lowly manner?
Consider the usual trappings of an earthly monarchy. Long flowing robes. Sparkling jewels. Gold sceptres. Regal crowns. Why does a monarchy have such decor? To demonstrate the importance of the royal family.
So why would God send Jesus into the world in such a lowly manner? Surely His value as the Son of God was deserving of more than a manger!
Why would Jesus give up all of heaven to enter life as a human baby born into the humblest of circumstances? What could have possibly motivated such an entrance?
His love for us!
Filed under Christmas, Jesus, Love of God
Tagged as Christ, Christianity, Christmas, Christmas card, God, Jesus, King of Kings, Love of God, Son of God
March 27, 2011 · 6:45 AM
Image via Wikipedia
I don’t know about you but I like those movies that start with a BANG! From the very first scene they have you on the edge of your seat with nail-biting excitement. A car chase; a fight scene; something exploding…
That’s what comes to mind when I read the first chapter of John’s Gospel. In the very first chapter he uses no less than 7 names or titles for Jesus!
- The Word – 1:1-3, 14
- The Light – 1:4-13
- The Son of God – 1:15-28, 49
- The Lamb of God – 1:29-34
- The Messiah – 1:35-42
- The King of Israel – 1:43-49
- The Son of Man – 1:50-51
John wrote his account later than the other three Gospels, probably sometime between 70 – 100 A.D. Why does John use such powerful imagery with all these names for Jesus? Because he’s on a singular mission.
But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. ~ John 20:31 (NIV)
The early followers of Jesus were undergoing some intense persecution and were perhaps wavering in their faith; so John writes to encourage them by reminding them that Jesus was indeed God’s chosen Messiah – the giver of life.
Take a few moments to reflect on how John speaks of Jesus.
- The Word – God’s creative power at work in the universe and in us.
- The Light – That which illuminates the way to God and real life.
- The Son of God – the one and only, equal with the Father and the Spirit.
- The Lamb of God – the One who sacrificed his very life to pay our sin debt.
- The Messiah – the anointed one, set aside for a special purpose.
- The King of Israel – the rightful ruler of life, our Lord.
- The Son of Man – fully God and fully man, able to identify with our struggles.
Which of these descriptions of Jesus and how He relates to us is most meaningful to you today? Identify it, thank God and enjoy Jesus!
Filed under Gratitude, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus
Tagged as Christ, Christianity, God, Gospel, Gospel of John, Gratitude, Intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Messiah, Religion and Spirituality, Son of God
December 26, 2010 · 6:45 AM
Gifts can create a variety of reactions. A schreak of delight, an outburst of laughter, wide-eyed wonder, the “yes” that comes from deep down inside. Even the occasional head-tilt if the object is not immediately identifiable.
Different gifts, different reactions. But all gifts share one common trait. They eventually wear out. Get old. Lose their staying power.
But there is one gift that never wears out. In fact, it is capable of perpetually increasing without coming to an end. Curious yet?
Immanuel… “God with us.”
It began when Jesus came to earth as a baby some 2000 years ago.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. ~ John 1:14
The Son of God, the Creator of the universe, gave up all of heaven to take on the form of humanity and live among us, to be with us. God’s presence with us took another step forward when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost to dwell in us.
The big gift of Christmas, “God with us“, doesn’t have to wear out. It can continue on and on and on into an eternity beyond the here and now. What began one Christmas so many years ago continues today.
Every day can be soaked with the sacred when we learn to live in the awareness of God’s ongoing presence with us!
May we live this moment, this day with Him!
Filed under Christianity, Christmas, Holy Spirit, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus
Tagged as Christmas, Divine presence, Gift, God, Holy Spirit, Immanuel, Intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Pentecost, Religion and Spirituality, Son of God