December 21st, 2012 at 7:00 am
It is amazing that more than 2,000 years after the event, more than two billion people around the world will again remember a birth in an obscure village. Why?
The late Texas Baptist ethicist T.B. Maston said Jesus represented the supreme revelation of God’s nature. “The revelation of God recorded in the Bible, a divine-human book, is climaxed in Christ, a divine-human Person,” Maston wrote in Why Live the Christian Life? (p. 51).
“We find in him the climax of the self-disclosure of God. God’s final and perfect word concerning his own nature and character is found in Christ: in his life, his death, his resurrection.” (p. 51)
And it all started with the birth that we still celebrate. The Bible says Jesus is God’s only son and that he left his place in heaven to come and live as a flesh and blood person because God loved creation. God, today, has not changed, and so we continue to be amazed by that love.
We attach the word “revelation” to this act in history because the life of Jesus showed us something; it revealed to us what God is really like. We want to know God, and God desires for us to know. As Maston said:
“As we search for a deeper and clearer understanding of the nature and will of God, we can be assured that he is seeking to reveal himself and his will to us. … There is a very real sense in which we seek the Seeker.” (p. 17)
Jesus shows us that God is good, just, righteous, faithful, and dependable; most importantly, God is love.
Sin has separated us from God and, in the process, cut us off from the depths of our own being, Maston said. This creates an “insatiable thirst for the Eternal.” Whether or not we are aware of it, we are “homesick for God.” (p. 35)
This thirst, this homesickness draws us back to Bethlehem each year to re-encounter the beginning of the change. Our thirst can now begin to be quenched. We can now feel that the homesickness will not last forever.
Faith, hope and love come together in a very profound way at Christmas. All three come from the Divine and are our response to the Divine. There is a way forward in the midst of life’s difficulties, and so we worship as our minds are drawn to the manger.
Have you stopped lately to notice the Shepherds around you? This month, we’ve been taking a look at the doctors, nurses, firefighters, police and other law enforcement officers who care for our communities. A few have shared their stories with us to help us better understand life for them. But now let’s get a little advice from the Shepherds or those who work with the Shepherds on ways to practically let them know we appreciate them and that Christ loves them. Full Story »