God Put On Our Shoes

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14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15(John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.  John 1:14-18

Jesus is God entering into our human relationships. Literally. In the flesh Jesus is God entering in to our relationships and therefor our experiences. He comes revealing God the Father. He comes full of grace and truth. He came to walk in our shoes.

A Cherokee proverb says, “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” But Jesus didn’t “walk in those shoes” in order to judge us. He walked in those shoes to rescue us. His journey in those shoes brings us God’s grace. In fact Jesus went the extra mile for us… straight to the Cross.

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Let’s Be Bold!

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10And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16And they went with haste…  Luke 2:10-16

God’s bold bid.

God has made a bid for relationship. The angel announced it to the shepherds: Christ the Lord has been born! In response the shepherds were bold to go and find Him.

Let’s be bold!

“Let’s be bold!” In my family that’s a request for doughnuts! But its also a bid for relationship. Its a bonding experience.

This holiday “let’s be bold!” I don’t mean to suggest we must all have doughnuts. But I do mean we could do something to bond in our significant relationships.

God has created us for relationships with Him, with ourselves, with people, and with the stuff of earth. During Christmas we celebrate and reflect on the birth of Jesus. According to the Scriptures, He came from the Communion of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, entering into the relationships of humanity. He entered our relationships to show us who the Father is and to accomplish all that was required for us to enter into the communion of God. Jesus came to seek us, to save us, and to serve us by giving Himself for our forgiveness.

That was bold!

He got close to us in order to lift us up and include us in our Heavenly Father’s love.

Be Bold: Bond with Jesus.

In these holy-days I pray that you get closer to Jesus. You could:

Read the whole Gospel of Luke.

Read an inspiring book. (Here’s a list of free e-books.) 

Attend a worship service with friends and family.

Gathering in a 3+ just for the holiday time with people you don’t usually see.

Have a home worship and prayer time with family members who also follow Jesus.

Find a way to serve or share a meal with those who could use a hand-up, the gift of presence and an encouraging word.

Go on a walk with a family member and thank them for all the “gifts” and grace you have enjoy by being in relationship to them.

Be generous.

 

Hey, “Let’s be bold!”

 

Before its too late.

Before.

Before there was stuff, there was God.

Before there was a sunrise, there was the community of Father, Son and Spirit.

Before there was life there was God’s glory.

Before we spoke God spoke.  (See Genesis 1:1-5)

Before.

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:1-5

Before it was too late…

14the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

This makes me want to see Jesus before I…

speak.

take up a cause.

despair in the darkness.

create momentary loves.

Quick, Come Lord Jesus,

Before…

its a matter of scale

“I am not all that important.”  I agree, humility is a virtue to be nurtured and appreciated.  However, I have been surprised to hear now from several sources, “humility” as a reason not to pursue God.  In contrast to my friend who believes to accept the reality of God would diminish himself, this “atheist” upheld his position of non-engagement in the question of God as one that emerged from humility.  “I am not all that important, and humans are not all that important.  Why would I need a god to tell me I’m significant?  We don’t really matter.”

Indeed even a cursory look at the stars puts us in humbling position in regard to the universe and time.  The Psalmist declared, “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers–the moon and the stars you set in place–what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them?”  Psalm 8:3-4

The extension of this humble view of insignificance seems to me to have a troubling consequence.  If I extend the view that I don’t matter to others, then they don’t matter as well.  I am not sure I would want to live in a society in which other’s don’t matter and the choices I make in respect to them don’t matter either.  Such a society would eventually suffer from its corporate amnesia and enter into the chaos of distrust and the persistent pursuit of self-interest.  That’s the way human hearts seem to work.  We abandon the forward motion of love for tolerance; we abandon tolerance for apathy.

So it is a matter of scale.  When looking at the stars, earth and its inhabitants seem relatively insignificant.  However, when I look across the room or across the table, I am glad there is someone who cares or takes an interest in me.  If I am really so insignificant, why do I care to be loved?  And it is at this point that the Christian message becomes very particular and quite scaled down.  God, who in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, engaged in the Creation of all we see, got very personal with us.  The incarnation of Jesus Christ is described in the most physical and close terms:  “So the Word became human and made his home among us.  He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  And we have seen his glory the glory of the Father’s one and only Son….God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God.  But the one and only Son is himself God and is near to the Father’s heart.  He has revealed God to us.”  John 1:14, 17-18 (NLT)

The Gospel is announced in Jesus’ incarnation;  God is getting up close and personal.  He crossed the universe to announce and complete His love for us…for me…for you.