Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas! I hope you are not feelin' alone today.

"They shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, 'God with us.'" —Matthew 1:23
Draw near. The Chief Shepherd wants you real close to Him. His family wants you close.
You don't have to stay alone out in the cold dark night. He bids you come, walk in His light
It's interesting that our Father in heaven would announce the birth of the Savior of the world to a group of lowly and remote shepherds. Man!.. what persons of that time would want to be close to bunch of dirty smelly shepherds? Perhaps.. you too need to be washed?

A video posted by Kurt von Schleicher (@kurtwvs) on
But this was so consistent with God's mission to save the poor and to exalt the lowly (Luke 1:51-53; 4:18) ..which hasn't changed to this day. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save (get close to..) that which was lost"(Luke 19:10 emph mine). It is interesting that Jesus is both the gentle Lamb of God (John 1:29) and the caring Good Shepherd (10:11). So relate-able to those who'd follow Him. Because of real love for you and me, God stayed God but became fully human - One who knows well how to Shepherd us in the best direction. 

It really wasn't a rags-to-riches story.. the birth of Jesus, no, it was a riches-to-rags story. Yup, cost our King dearly—as He chose to come to earth to seek and to save us. I’m feelin’ grateful! He never set aside some of His divine attributes, nor did He ever act like He didn’t possess them. He never set aside His deity for even a sec—Christ never died spiritually (as some say), and never wasn’t 100% God, but He “..made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” for us. See Phil. 2:7. Glad He emptied Himself (a.k.a. Kenosis) in three ways: 
1.) He voluntarily accepted the limitations of becoming human. 
2.) He let His Kingly glory be hidden from people here.  
3.) He let Himself experience the limitations of a human being and gave up the INDEPENDENT USE OF His relative attributes ([omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent] all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere present, etc). 
And of course we can’t leave out His sinless life, the Cross and empty tomb part of the story. Jesus was born to die, but now is alive! Let's full-on rejoice in Him!
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