God is into calendar. He reveals Himself is through the rhythms, patterns and seasons of life.
So as I write this, there's only 4 more shopping days until Christmas. Christians have observed the four weekends of Advent. It's a season to remember and reflect on the Incarnation, the man Jesus also called Emmanuel, "God with us".
So ... what if God really was One Of Us ? (You GenX-ers should remember this one)
That song makes me think more deeply about the incarnation every time I hear it.
In this modern culture, we forget, or ignore, or just plain don't care.
We don't reflect on our own story. We don't know God's story.
"Christ became the son of man so that we could become children of God. Had he not so lowered himself as to come down to us, none of us could ever have gone to him by any merits of our own." Leo the Great (AD 400-41)
What are your favorite Christmas memories? The best ones revolve around loving, healthy family relationships. These experiences are truly a gift.
Sadly, for many of us, our story-lines are more frequently of broken relationships.
Personally, at this time of year, I want to be with my family - children, parents, siblings, relatives. It would be painful to not be with them.
Surely God's heart would be broken too, when He can not be with His children because they reject Him.
For love to be genuine it must be given freely. Sin is the misapplication of free will.
Because of Adam's sin, we are separated from God. No human effort has the power to restore that relationship. Only God can do that, and so God took the initiative of restoration. He did that because God is love. So He chose to give freely.
"What humans could not attain because they could not raise themselves to God, God attained by descending to humans. " Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Time, p.63
God the Father is the greatest gift-giver. The best gift is His love. But we have to accept His gift. The offer does no good if we don't receive it.
Jesus as a man made a series of choices to unite his human will with God's divine will. He lived constantly, day by day, moment by moment, choosing to refuse evil and live in union with God, in the presence of God. His heart was set. His course was determined.
The heart is the core of our being, it radiates throughout our whole personality. Through a simple, sincere prayer "Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner", we set our hearts to forsake sin and be filled with Christ. His power in us releases the grace to be united with God. Union with God is a divine gift.
Christmas time calls us to live Incarnationally. It reminds us to place Jesus in the center of our hearts and to walk in the Jesus way. And like the God who became a babe, be born again. May this calling be realized in our lives.
This is my prayer for me, and for you.
The Lord be with you, and Merry Christmas!