Thursday, December 04, 2008
You should buy this for yourself or someone else for Christmas
From the album "Come Let Us Adore Him".
I cry like once or twice a year, and it usually involves Manchester Untied losing. I admit it though, I cried like a baby listening to this song and eating french fries tonight. Let me explain, because there's some history here. I have been especially overwhelmed by the incarnation this year as I've been doing my quiet times and studying for my times of teaching. I really don't even have words. I mean, I'm rendered speechless when I try to wrap my mind around it.
Last night at The Journey I taught on the first 18 verses of the Gospel of John. They deal so beautifully with what it meant for the Word to become flesh (mankind) so that He could show us the best way that life could be experienced.
Have you ever thought about the world that Jesus was born into? The Roman Empire was in the middle of it's most glorious period (the Pax Romana) and yet the people of Rome and the surrounding world found themselves disillusioned by religion and philosophy, overwhelmed by a rising materialism, and immersed in every sort of debauchery and immorality. Surely they felt their emptiness and yet had no answer for it. For the Jews, they found themselves locked into a religious system of their own creation. Blinded by their own self righteousness and desire to be separate, they had completely lost their mission of being a light to the nations around them (Isaiah 60:1-5).
Jesus steps into this bringing grace and truth. To the gentiles, truth. All of the false idolatry and immorality that failed to satisfy them and stood in stark contrast to the truth presented by Jesus. He demonstrated what it was to live a life of meaning and purpose that wasn't a slave to physical desires, something severely lacking in the Roman world.
For the Jews, He revealed grace. The following of the Jewish Law had become its own religion that differed from its original intent at the time it was given. For most, the law was something to be kept in order to please God and was also a source of pride (something God ins't a big fan of). The problem with law is that it's mostly focused on "do not". The grace that Christ offered freed people from the burden of the law. This freedom allowed people to take the focus off of their own behavior and to focus on reaching out to those around them in need, both spiritually and physically.
I pray that you can really spend some time thinking about the incarnation and that it was directly for people like us. Whether you came out of hedonism and idolatry like the Romans, or self righteousness like the Jews, "the Word became flesh," for us all. That's what makes it a Merry Christmas.