Thursday, December 25, 2014

Let's Go Now ... and See

Hubby was reading the Christmas story this morning before we opened our gifts. He reads it every year. Every year there is something, some word or phrase that jumps out at me.

This year it was in the account of the shepherds in Luke 2, after the angels left and they turned to one another, eyes still blinking in amazement, voices still tremulous in awe.

"Let's go now [to Bethlehem] and see this thing which has come to pass.." (vs 15)

They didn't need to wait for the weekly service.
They didn't want to wait for anything. 
They said, Let's go NOW."

NOW. No more waiting. No more wondering when the prophecy would be fulfilled. No more hoping. 

NOW. No more pining away wishing that God would show up. 
He showed up!

And what an arrival! 

It wasn't in a palace somewhere, definitely not where the sages went looking for Him. Angels gave shepherds - the guys looking after the Passover lambs on the hillside - the first announcement. 

Photo "Sleeping Baby" courtesy of
Dynamite Imagery at
The King of the Universe became a baby, born to parents too poor to bribe someone for a room in a crowded city. Instead, He was wrapped in swaddling bands (strips of cloth, like grave-clothes a mummy would wear), placed in a stone manger - a hole in the rock (looking much like someone in a tomb) - and surrounded by the smell of barnyard animals. 

This well-known image tells me that He is :
  • Approachable - Jesus invites intimacy. (A newborn baby's eyes focus best at ten inches from its face, and respond most to facial features).
  • Gentle and humble - Jesus does not strike terror, but inspires tenderness. He comes alongside and doesn't tower over us like some god to be placated or appeased.
  • Vulnerable - Jesus became fully human and felt the things we feel. He knew what it was like to be hungry, to be rejected, to get angry, and to grieve. He also could experience compassion and joy and the love of friends. He knows how we feel. He DOES.
  • Committed - He was in this for the long haul. It's one thing to talk about love but quite another to express it, to show it. And in coming to us to carry out the Plan, He showed His commitment to us. 

"Let's go NOW" - the shepherds said. In other words, "Let's not delay this. This is IMPORTANT." This - meeting the Creator - is the most important meeting in the Universe.

Let's go now ... and SEE..." It's not enough to talk about Him. It's not enough to go and hear someone else talk about Him. He must be SEEN - there must be a personal encounter. Once there is, it's LIFE-CHANGING. At the moment we realize for our own selves what He came to do for us - not us as a whole species but EACH of us, personally, privately, individually - that is the moment when the Sovereign Lord (Adonai) becomes Emmanuel (God with us). 

That is when Heaven comes down, when He is born inside of us. God WITH us. God IN us. We are regenerated, re-created. 

There is joy. There is peace. There is acceptance. There is LOVE.

Let's go NOW and SEE.

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