Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
“Wow! That sounds like fun!” I smiled. “Do you know what Advent means?”
“No.” she said, “Maybe ‘surprise’ or ‘count down’?”
“Because of all the little surprises in each window counting down to Christmas!” I laughed, “Good guesses. But it means something even better. Got another guess?”
Baffled she shrugged her shoulders.
“Advent means,” I said, “someone very special is coming.”
She clapped her hands again. “SANTA!” She shouted as she ran out of my office to get back to work on an Advent Calendar filled with 24 surprises counting down the nights until the day humanity pauses to remember the birth of a baby.
Advent. God arrives on Earth. A baby born to a teenage mum. Jesus.
You know the story.
At hundreds of Carols by Candlelight programs right around Australia, Aussies will sing of the ‘Holy Night’ when ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ in the ‘Little Town of Bethlehem’ that ‘Joy to the World’ arrived ‘Away in a Manger’ answering the call of humanity to ‘Come, O come Emmanuel.” That first Advent of God on Earth was something to sing about. So much so that we are still singing about it two thousand years later!
Emmanuel means ‘God with us.’ And He is. You have a friend closer than a brother. A Father who loves you more than you can imagine. Jesus arrived as a helpless baby to show that God was willing to be vulnerable for us. He loves us enough to become one of us. We needed Him. So, He came. Emmanuel.
Please, don’t let Christmas be hijacked by the story of an old guy in a red hoodie who delivers Kmart kitsch. Tell the story of Jesus to your children. It’s part of your story. You’re already singing about it. That first Christmas is a surprise worth remembering with a month-long count down. It’s the joyful chapter in the story of a God who loves His children. It’s the Advent that rebooted humanity’s Calendar.
Monday, December 02, 2019
God, however, is love. He is the embodiment of love and He embues the universe with His love. When creation steps away from God's love disunity ensues.
Humanity is a prodigal son, rocky soil, Israel, Cain, Eve. We need God's love. Jesus is God's love incarnate. He became like us so we could see what God was up to. So we could see His love with our disbelieving eyes and touch his wounded side.
God became man so that man could see God. God knew (knows) sinful humanity can only see Him if He dresses like us, walks like us and dies like us - because we are so self focused. He became one of us so that we could become one with Him.
We are selfish. God is love.
Jesus showed we can live unselfish lives only when we know God is Love. Knowing yourself is not the key to a full human life. Knowing God is. The self-centred life leads us to psychosis. The God-centred life leads us to love others.
God's "Plan A" is love. It always has been and always will be. It was our choice that made His love look like death. Not His. It's our inability to comprehend His love that makes us think he had any other choice.
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