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December Newsletter-Merry Incarnationmas

Christmas this year does feel like a breath of fresh air. Matthew West has a new Christmas song called ‘We Need Christmas.’ I agree. Thinking about Christmas is somewhat related to hoping for a return to normal. This changing world, well, has really changed. The only stable thing we have left, the one thing that does not change, is The Gospel of Christ. There’s a daily reminder we all need to be aware of that gives us confidence in the future: the ‘before the foundation of the world’ dream of a Loving God is still the dream God has today. His dream does not change and is not going away. The circumstances we experience, hear and see should not frighten us because of what we know about God’s tomorrow. That dream was expressed with the incarnation of a baby, born of a virgin. The purpose of that incarnation was to cause us to experience God with us. Imagine that, God stepping into our world with its broken hearts and spirits and delivering a piece of mail marked ‘Hope.’

The incarnation was God’s self-communication with the creatures that He created, His attempt to communicate in some way so that we might know Him. Jesus was the Word made flesh. (John 1:14) Jesus was God’s statement to us that He cared; we mattered. It was God’s personal way to reveal Himself to humanity. The birth, the incarnation, is designed specifically to share with us the dream of God, telegraphing God’s desire of what He hoped, and eventually has planned, His creation was to be like. The birth, teachings and resurrection of Christ was to show us how to live, show us the secrets of Life as the Father would have it for us. Jesus came to reveal the Father, Son and Spirit and, just as significantly, reveal who we are as well.

Jesus was the Word of God made man. Significantly, he was a man who believed and came to teach us how to do the same. He is both the Word who created the cosmos and amazingly, the man who submitted himself to the cruelty and darkened heart of humanity. The same Word who created the world came to save it. For the Word, coming to earth was a moment of addition, not subtraction. The Word of God didn’t lower himself, rather, he added the creature experience to His deity experience. In doing so, a new and living way was created. The amazing story of incarnation, of redemption, and of that new creation was that God entered into the equation personally. By entering into our world, He forced on humanity a story that all humanity must consider. Jesus, by giving himself into the hands of the wicked, by entering their darkness, brokenness and rebellion, God in His Wisdom, established relationship with people they can’t ignore. Amazingly, He used humanity’s rejection as the vehicle for their redemption. On the cross, the world had damned Jesus with anger and hatefulness. They had bullied him, humiliated him, beat him, mocked him, pierced him, and killed him. In their minds they had put an end to Jesus of Nazareth. The Jewish leaders, who demanded the Law of Moses for all people, broke their own commandment of ‘thou shall not kill!’ and conspired to murder. The Romans who championed humanity’s progressive intellect with declarations of reason, order, justice, and logic also created one of the cruelest forms of punishment ever introduced by humans- crucifixion. Perhaps the hearts of all humanity can be summed up with one single action witnessed on the day of crucifixion: offering Jesus to drink of bitter root. That moment exposed man’s heart toward God.

Jesus’ crucifixion was man’s answer to God’s self-communication. God’s answer was resurrection! A new Genesis was written at that moment. A new man was created. With the death and resurrection of Jesus, a messianic man would replace the Adamic man for the very first time. Jesus was a new Adam, a new man not only possible with Jesus, but an opportunity to happen to whosoever will. The Wisdom of God had used our broken, hateful, darkened heart to create His story of Grace, Mercy and Reconciliation. Incarnation began an opportunity for man again to walk and talk with God as in the original Garden of Adam. Incarnation was purposed to lead us to the knowledge of God and to embrace Jesus as Creator and Lord, Salvation and Life, and the True source of life’s meaning for humanity. With an ‘in-plain-view’ death and a public resurrection God had forced the world to look and see, to witness and believe. There was no hidden trial, instead a very public one. There was no hidden body, instead one guarded by Roman soldiers. And with the resurrection witnesses, certainly He left mankind no excuses.

Symbolically, what happened at the crucifixion happened because the world cried, ‘Crucify Him!’ Today, we can hear much of the world making that same statement. I’ve often discussed with Jane how what the world did to Jesus at the crucifixion; the world will do to the risen Christ prior to His return. What it looked like then, will look that same way again. ‘Crucify Him!’ is shadowed in our cancel culture today. Now, we all find ourselves experiencing increased stresses and witnessing what I’ll call ‘award winning’ stony hearts. I mean it’s almost professional stony hearts.

In spite of that, as believers, we have His blessed Hope. Christ is in us and that’s the Hope of Glory. His Wisdom encourages us to abide in Christ and thereby bear much fruit. Listening to Jesus inspires us to walk with Christ and have a hope of experiencing the Father’s heart. His incarnation brought Hope. The promise of the Spirit and of Christ is to release us from the daily tensions of loneliness, of fear, dread, sadness, chaos, frustration and discouragement and prepare us for the revealing in our own hearts that God will never leave us, never condemn us, but really is Immanuel- He is God with us.

The good fight of faith is one of choosing to believe in the power of that incarnation story or simply turn it away. C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that we’re free to not answer that telephone call to faith but it still doesn’t excuse us from hearing the phone ringing. One thing is very clear; the original vision foreseen by Father, Son and Spirit, the original price that was paid by the Trinity of God, will never, ever be lost. So today, it’s impossible that the Love of God will ever abandon the Truth. No matter what we see in the world, no matter what we hear, no matter what we feel: It’s impossible that the Spirit of God will ever hide away. Remember, it looked very bad for Jesus of Nazareth all his earthly life. But now, just as it was then, it’s impossible that the Father will not accomplish ‘Thy Will be done.’

It appears that the world is manifesting, in a big way, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. In Daniel Chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon. The king had a dream. In it he imagined a huge, glorious statue of himself. The head was made of gold, the chest silver, a bronze belly, iron legs and feet made of iron and clay. It was a towering image; impressive in power and size. It was the kingdoms of the earth. Yet, Daniel indicated that a rock not cut by human hands (Jesus) struck the feet of the statue and it collapsed in rubble. That single stone became a mountain that filled the earth and filled it with a King’s kingdom (one not created with human hands) that would never be destroyed. Today, the earthly kingdoms are strong and getting stronger. They are powerful and getting more powerful. They are ‘all knowing’ and getting more intrusive each day. They do what’s right in their own eyes. They have magnified Adam’s mistake believing Lucifer’s whisper, ‘You can be like God.’ That foolishness is still whispered today and many still buy it. Just as in the king’s dream, there’s a Rock poised to cover the earth with a Godly Kingdom. This radio ministry continues to share that Message 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our message today is what it was the first day we broadcast on January 8th, 1990. One of our original radio tags was: They could not help but speak what they had seen and heard. (Acts 4:20) We still believe that the only way to know God is through Jesus Christ. Incarnationmas is a celebration of Jesus! OK, I’ll do it the old fashioned way– MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized

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