12/15/2021 9:52:00 PM Advent: Preparing for Christmas
During Advent, we are awaiting the incarnation of God in Christ Jesus. The incarnation is the manifestation of God, the very presence of God in the person of Jesus. I so muse over the stories of those who wanted to reprimand Jesus for what they saw as infractions of the law and how backward they appear: the 'created' telling the 'Creator' how wrong He was. God must have laughed when He wasn’t crying over their innocent ignorance.
I can only imagine it to be like a father who sits to have tea with his daughter at her play kitchen, while she gives orders to her daddy the way her mom gives him orders. Only God isn’t laughing when it is our pride that makes a demand of Him. Among Jesus’s final words on the cross was, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. It isn't wise to talk down to your Creator.
The coming of Jesus involved a lot of planning. The incarnation was in God’s mind from the very beginning. He walked with Adam in the garden in the cool of the day. That is the first mention of an incarnation we have. Jesus on earth among us was the second prominent incarnation, although we have momentary appearances of the Lord throughout the scriptures. Now we have momentary appearances of the incarnation in the company of the Holy Spirit. God among us is the theme of our God; Emmanuel, God with us.
In His instructions to followers, Jesus declared He was with us always. He spoke of the one coming to guide us and comfort us, the Holy Spirit. The incarnation of God is like speaking to us in our language so we may have a relationship with Him. Have you ever spoken to someone in their native language (not the same as yours) and had them smile with joy? (Hola for hello in Spanish, or Kon’nichiwa for hello in Japanese, chea chea ne for thank you in Chinese.) When you see the face of someone light up because you respected them enough to say something kind in their language, you’ll discover the power of incarnation.
God is speaking to us when we listen so as to accomplish His plans. Sometimes the speaking is louder than we want (especially when He won't let you sleep because He won't turn it loose for you). At other times it’s a still small voice heard only by those who are listening intently with their hearts. Serve Him and listen to Him for He walks with us as the Holy Spirit.
This Sunday (Dec. 19th) at First Baptist, we'll have a Bell Ring & Carol Sing service at 5 o'clock. On Christmas Eve next Friday, we'll have a special Christmas Eve service. On the day after Christmas (Sunday Dec. 26th) there won't be any Sunday School. We'll have one worship service at 10 AM. You are invited to join us for these events and the celebration of the coming of our Lord.
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