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December - Pastor's Message

posted Jan 7, 2016, 8:28 PM by Karen Lindsey
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.   (John 1:1, 14)

In the month of November we focused on God the Father and Creator of all that was made. He is the One to whom we offer our thanksgiving.  

Now it is December, the season of Advent and Christmas.  At this time we remember that God came into our world in the flesh.  We call this the Incarnation.  In His incarnation Christ was truly a man, but also truly God.  Unlike other men, He was sinless.  It's hard to understand this reality.  The Bible doesn't tell us much about the process -- other than that the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and she became pregnant with the Son of the Most High God.  But the Bible tells us why God did this.  

You remember as far back as Exodus it was taught that no one could ever see God and live to tell about it.  In these last days, the days following the Incarnation, we have seen God and now live our lives to tell others about Him!  The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians that "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily 
form . . ."

The gospel-writer John makes it clear that Jesus, the Word, was with God in the beginning when all creation was spoken into existence.  He is eternal.  It is this "Word" that became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We no longer see God from a distance, because He has come near to us in the person of Jesus!  (Also, Matthew1:23 - "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel -- which means, 'God with us.'")

New Testament writers have given us much information and insight into the Word Who became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  For three years Jesus went around Palestine preaching, teaching and healing all who were sick.  He had compassion for the lost and told stories that illustrated how serious he was about seeking all who were far from God.

As a human, Jesus experienced all the limitations, pressures and temptations that all humans are subject to.  He knows firsthand what we are made of and the struggles we experience throughout our lives.  But as the only perfect human-being who ever lived He was able to represent us -- take our place -- in dying on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven and we could be made right with God. 

A couple words used to describe the Incarnation are "light" and "glory".  Growing up in Minnesota I have an image from winter days that helps me understand these concepts.  As you may know, all leaves fall from the trees in autumn.  And even with evergreens mixed in there is a starkness about the grey sticks poking out from the tree trunks, especially around twilight.  There is beauty in this picture, but also sadness.  The next morning, however, one might awaken to a condition called hoarfrost.  This happens when moisture freezes on stark tree branches, fences, clotheslines, etc., and the entire landscape is lit up and sparkles like it is covered with diamonds.  It's impossible to adequately describe the almost blinding light and beauty of this condition.  But it reminds me of God breaking into the starkness and darkness of our sinful world, and giving us a glimpse of His glory.  

Advent and Christmas remind us that God has come to live among us.  In the starkness and darkness of life His glory and light breaks in to remind us that He has overcome all that would keep us in the dark.  (John 1:5 - "The light shines in the darkness . . .")  Advent and Christmas remind us that we are never alone or lost because Immanuel was born!

Celebrating His birth and life, His humanity and divinity -- with you brothers and sisters in Jesus,
Pastor Lori