the Water of Life comes only from Jesus

Archive for December, 2015

Why the baby?

Christmas_2015_crop

I haven’t felt much of the “Christmas Spirit” this year, and I’m not really sure why. This season of my life has been tough in general, but usually Christmastime brings great joy: All the lights and shiny things, giving the gifts, sharing the good food and good times… This year not so much. But today, I spent some time with a friend helping her get things ready for her Christmas, and when I went home and was mulling over all these things, I came to this:

Why do we celebrate Christmas? I know the Charlie Brown answer, but really—why do we care that a baby was born in a manger a couple millennia ago? We could talk about Isaiah 9, John 1, the story of his birth in Luke…

The story of this baby is a wondrous and beautiful one, full of angel praise and mysterious dreams. But this is really only part of the whole story of who Jesus is, and this is what matters. What makes this story worth telling is what happens after Chapter 1.

This baby born became a man who died, who lived again and received his crown as The King.

Jesus is the fulfillment of every promise of God; He is the Word made flesh; He is the embodiment of the Love of God that always was and always is and always will be. He came as a human child to grow up and become who he really is, and to fulfill the promise of reconciliation and to bring new life, so that we too could grow up and become who we really are, and become the fulfillment of God’s promise of Love to those around us.

When people talk about having the “Spirit of Christmas all year round” (thank you Christmas Carol), they’re talking about unconditional, extravagant, beautiful, Capital-L Love—the kind of Love that God lavishes on his kids, the Love that Jesus himself is the absolute greatest proof of—not because he was a little boy born in a barn, but because he is the Son of God, who chose to die and rise again, to fulfill God’s promise to all his kids: The promise that He Is who He says; the promise that you are everything He says you are, and you can live this great story He’s written about you.

PS—If you’re breathing air, God considers you His kid, and all of this applies to You. ❤

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And Now, if you need a little Christmas Pep, enjoy this Happy Christmas song:

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Pining

Long lay the world in sin and error, pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth

I was listening to this song the other day in my car. It’s an incredibly familiar song, so familiar I could sing it in my sleep. And yet on this day, when this song came on my Christmas playlist shuffle, God dropped an understanding on my head of these lines that has thoroughly ruined it for me (in the best way).

I always thought about this part as a poetic little description of the world’s need for a Savior. Now that’s probably still true, but even more true is this: The world was pining for the story which was spoken right out of heaven, which sin and error made us forget. This goes right in hand with what the Lord has been saying in our church body recently. It’s not that people were so horrible, but that they were so lost, so unaware of the worth they always had in the Father’s eyes, so unable to remember who they really were. For God so loved the world

Jesus is the embodiment of the promise of God’s love. He is the hope and the grace for every soul to walk in the wonderful story God imagined for them before they were born.

This isn’t a new message. This is the Gospel, the eternal Word. This is what God has been saying all along. You are worth everything.

A thrill of hope; the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

If you’re thirsty for more, check out the latest sermons from Zion’s River here.

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