Jack Harris 12/16/21
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. -1 Tim 1:15
It’s this time of year that we take the time to celebrate and reflect upon the miracle of the incarnation.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: -Isa 9:6
THE GOOD NEWS is that He came into the world to save it, not to condemn it. In fact, according to John, the world had already been condemned.
Think of it, a Condemned World; not unlike a condemned building, something that has deteriorated to the point of being dysfunctional and dangerous, awaiting destruction before it collapses upon itself.
Yet HE was sent to redeem it, to fix it, to salvage all that can be salvaged with an eye toward reconstruction.
He came into our world, a world where all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. -1John 1:8
He was the only sinless human being to ever live.
John the Baptist declared Him,
“Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.”
The Apostle Paul reveals Him as the second Adam, come to undo the damage of the first Adam. To make the transition from the corruption and decay of the Natural order unto the eternal Spiritual order.
As we celebrate Christmas as that first coming of the Lord, so should we look for, and expect, His second coming; and though no man knows the day or the hour of His return, we are not in darkness, as others, that ‘that day’ should overtake us.
His coming is our hope,
When you see these things begin to come to pass, lift up your heads for your redemption is drawing near.
Though we’re to live expectantly, we’re also commanded to occupy until He comes.
When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith upon the earth?
This is His question not mine.
Just as we celebrate His first coming as our most joyous holiday, so should we remember with the same joy, that He promises to come again.
As we celebrate the Joy of Christmas in a world still staggering under the weight of a worldwide pandemic, the threat and fear of war, of dramatic climate change, social unrest, of rampant violence and crime, let’s remember that first Christmas, the Why of it, the Purpose of it, and most of all the Hope and Promise of it.
Ours is to be about our Lord’s business, to be gathering with Him, not scattering abroad.
This is a true saying, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners!
This is what Christmas is all about, not unlike Dickens Classic story, A Christmas Carol, we’re confronted with the three instructive spirits, that of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.
One of the names of GOD is, El Olam, translated as, the Eternal or Everlasting God. This idea encompasses HIM as the Age-enduring God, or the God of Ages, the God who works within and throughout the unfolding framework of human history.
Make no mistake about it, God is a work in our world today. He’s at work in our lives right now.
The skeptic and the cynical will point out, and it’s a tired and threadbare argument as old as the Bible itself, If God is with us, where are all the miracles our fathers told us about? Where is the promise of His coming?
If God is so good and loving, how come He allows such evil and suffering?
It’s like a broken record, repeating the same question over and over again.
The simple answer is, at least to my thinking, He allows evil because He allows you!
Covid-19 didn’t come from Heaven, it came from a human laboratory in China, funded in part by our own government. It’s an engineered virus, it has human fingerprints all over it.
Whatever the motive behind such things, it’s, nevertheless, as so many other worldwide or domestic crisis, the work of man not God. It’s human sin, against God, against nature and our fellow man. It’s our failure to take responsibility for our failures and point the finger back at God.
The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. -Isaiah 24:5
Once more, we celebrate the Spirit of Christmas Past, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.”
At the same time, we are about to celebrate Christmas Present, and I personally sense the reality of the Presence of this living Spirit of Christmas as never before, no matter the accompanying circumstances facing us all in a troubled world. I sense the Hope of it, the Promise of it, and the good Charity animating it.
The important thing is this, How we remember Christmas Past and how we Celebrate Christmas Present will determine the outcome of Christmas Future.
I believe that there is a plan, God‘s plan, and I’m part of it, and so are you. The plan I’m talking about began 2021 years ago in the small town of Bethlehem. It involves a stable, a manger, a young couple and a newborn child. An Angel will herald His birth, and the host of Heaven will be heard to sing, but only a small band of Shepherds, tending their flocks by night will hear them.
There’s also a caravan of Magi, Wisemen from the East, probably from the Median Capital of Amedi, an ancient city in what is now called N. Iraq. They’ve seen a new Star in the heavens and have followed it because, they know what many in the land of Judaea haven’t discerned; this Star proclaims He that is born King of the Jews. They’ve journeyed far to find and worship Him.
It all happens on this Night of nights we now celebrate as Christmas Day.
Enjoy the ornaments! The presents, the feasting, it’s a Holiday! It’s a Celebration! It’s ours to enjoy and so we shall!
But let’s also remember that we’re part of this ongoing story, that we who believe, are essential to the ongoing redemption of our world and what we do now will have an impact and consequences, good or evil, upon the future until HE who shall come WILL COME.