I quit! Well actually that’s not new news or big news from me. I quit long ago. And, now I’m laying back a bit, believing and seeing more and more that He’s the answer I’ve been seeking all along. He has become the Captain of my Faith, the center of my Gospel. It hasn’t always been like that; for a long time it was like I was the center of this thing. Everything depended upon me to figure it out, my coming to understand. That said, it doesn’t mean I’ve quit seeking and studying about Christ, just means that in the seeking and studying I’m comfortable with Him revealing Himself to me in ways that I’ve not noticed before. At Christmas you might say, why bring this up now? I mean these are the ‘high-holy’ days of the Christian faith, the birth of Jesus. Well that’s the reason right there! Jesus’ birth changed everything. That birth was not just the continuation of the Christian story, it was the period at the end of a long Promise and history found in the heart of God from the very beginning of Genesis 1, before the foundation of the world!
Incarnation is the correct word for what happened on the birth night. Incarnation was not just another incident in the story of God to be added to all the other stories about God; it was the pivotal, targeted, unique and purposed incident of all incidents. I think we sometimes look at Jesus’ birth as a picture of God’s compassion or, in our minds, we see how beautiful it was for God to come as a man. Truly it was both of those, but from God’s point of view, it was not just a loving and beautiful thing, but even more profoundly, a powerful night. So powerful that angels filled the air, stars lined up to declare that night, and at that moment a virgin gave birth, shaking all Creation. No other night, no other time in time, held that moment’s meaning. Before time began, back when only the Father, Son and Spirit huddled before the foundation of the world, did any time equal this time, this night. Our celebration of the birth of Jesus, along with his crucifixion and resurrection stand alone as unique days in all the universe with echoes and overtures that overpower all the other days before or since. Christ’s birth was not a day, but the day! Ephesians 1 calls it the fullness of time, all that is heaven and all that is earth collide and is reconciled with Jesus’ birth. On that day His Kingdom did come, not a political one, not a social one, not a powerful worldly one–His Kingdom is based upon a relationship forged by that very birth, death and resurrection. On that day Jesus stepped into our world, and this world would never be the same again. His arrival did that and no matter that the world refuses to yield to that fact, whether the world agrees with Him or not makes no difference in His being Truth. In Christ, His Kingdom did not come in overpowering might as the Jews expected but came as Jesus himself said, as a mustard seed or a bit of leaven. Jesus’ Kingdom was humanly looked upon by the Jews as embarrassingly small or weak and by the Romans as simply irritating. (For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Rom 14:17) But this Faith, this moment, penetrated all the creation. When Jesus stepped into our world all the weight shifted from the first Adam to the second Adam, to a single man, resting on Jesus’ teachings and what he did. Everything about the relationship between creature and the Creator was altered to reveal the nature and character of Father, Son and Spirit–forever forward the secret is out!
Most research points to the first week of April as the actual day that Jesus was born, but it’s not the actual date/day that’s important about that birth. Its importance comes from the fact that it was a new beginning, a new Genesis. Here, on that night, God (Father, Son, Spirit) revealed themselves in their fullness. That night took away previous speculation about the heart of God and an incarnation took place in Jesus’ birth that clarified all things, made all things new. It defined the Mystery of Christ in such a way that all guessing about, all the gaps of knowledge about God, were made transparent for all people to see. All that had been dim was made plain. The essence of that is declared in much of Paul’s writings: If you have perceived Jesus you have perceived the Father…I am the Way, the Light, the Truth and the Life…All the fullness of the Godhead abides in Christ…All things have been given over to Him… Jesus came to show you the Heart of the Father. Christ Jesus is the Revelation of God, the Cliff’s Notes of what the Godhead is like. (Math. 11, John 8, John 17, Heb. 1) The Scriptures do not prove Christ Jesus, He proves the Scriptures, He existed long before the Scriptures. All things are subjected to Him. (Strong stuff to match a strong incarnation!)
That’s why I quit trying to reason my way to the knowledge of God. I’ve gotten comfortable trusting that His ways are superior to our ways. That’s not to diminish our part in a Faith response, but subjecting Him to our Greek logic and human mind, much of the time clothes us in silliness. That ‘greekness’ doesn’t glorify God. In some ways, it boxes Him into our earthly expectations, frustrating our wee-little brains and locking our hearts away from the Spirit Life that’s granted to us as a gift through Christ. There was only one motivation for The Word to be manifested in the flesh: to express the Love found in the trinity of God. Jesus came for one reason: to seek/save those that were lost, people in the dark. The mystery contained within Jesus is the knowledge that you’re related to the Father, Son and Spirit by Their desire to have you enter into Their Life, even when you don’t deserve to be present in Their Life at all. In Jesus’ incarnation we discover that our approval is part of God’s desire to bless us, include us. That’s what we find in His Word that makes us free. We’re not set free so we can sin more which only causes us to oppose ourselves more. We’re not set free so we can be foolish with our lives even more than before; no, we’re made free so we can step into a life-style that finds the embrace and cheerleading of a loving God, a Life where we can be free to Love without being afraid or ashamed, free to care without fear of the vulnerability for doing so.
I’m resolved to knowing there’s a lot I don’t know about Him. In fact, seems to me we know only a small portion about Him compared to all there is to know; actually, there’s more we don’t know than we do. It is said in Scripture that thousands of things could have been written, volumes of books about Jesus, not just the recorded words we do have recorded about him. What I’ve learned over the past few years is we have a God that wants to reveal Himself to us, in fact, eagerly wants to do that. He’s not absently sitting by and watching us dig through books, tapes, conferences and prayer to see if we might figure this puzzle out about Him. In the incarnation, He revealed Himself in all the fullness of the Godhead. As the old saying goes, it would be comical if it weren’t so sad seeing people struggle at knowing the heart of God when He has shouted His will in the very incident of the incarnation.
It’s so much more fun, more rewarding, to lean in and trust in God, becoming comfortable in His hands rather than constantly looking for a God who meets my simple, sometimes even small expectations. His surprises and unexpected blessings are so evident when they’re not cluttered with our vision and our struggles in the implementation of His ways. It is Finished, He has won, victory declared, authority to walk in His Mercy and Grace has been declared in the heavens. Truly Peace on earth, good will toward men has come in the birth of Jesus, on that unique day, for all times. Sometimes He reveals Himself in small daily bits and pieces and many times in explosions of big events in our lives. Knowing He is a Father to us, God desiring to live within our earthly circumstances takes all the frustration away of having to solve some mystery of God. Actually the Mystery of God has already been revealed to us in every way: Christ Jesus is that Mystery. Figuring Him out would take no telling how many lifetimes, probably it will take an eternity. Knowing Him through the birth of His dear Son, Jesus Christ, Father, Son and Spirit intended for it to be possible in one simple birth that declared Their intentions to all the world: for God so loved the world that He gave a son to prove and show us who He really was.