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Tag: Christmas

Christmas not so Merry and Bright?: God in Christ Comes to Us in our Messiness

Herault, Charles-Antoine|Coypel, Noel; A Landscape with the Flight into Egypt; National Trust, Tatton Park;

If your Christmas is not merry and bright, if it’s blue instead of red, or if it’s lonely instead of a joyful family; just know that it’s absolutely fine. There’s nothing wrong with you or with your Christmas.

The birth of Jesus Christ had nothing to do with such things in the world that He was born and lived in. Instead, the Scriptures show us it was stark and bleak, though not without a ray of hope. Even after the birth, Jesus and his folks had to deal with constant dangers and foreboding, as a refugee family on the run, crossing risky borders while authorities demanded papers and they had none to show.

The Bible talks about a Jesus who comes into the world of violence, fear, misery, poverty, colonization, and injustice. It is in this world that He came naked, homeless, and as one for whom there was no room in anyone’s house or heart. Jesus’ early life was lived as a vulnerable refugee in Egypt at the mercy of strangers who took his family in and provided for them during their sojourn there. Therefore, Jesus Christ can come to you today in your own vulnerabilities and needs and in your lonely space of a godforsaken mess. It was made possible not because of the manger or the cradle but through His cross. May we run to the Cross and find forgiveness, love, mercy, and comfort in whatever situation you find yourself in this Christmas in 2022 on in the new year.


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Advent: God at the intersection of two worlds


Advent: God at the intersection of two worlds

Please read: Luke 1: 26-38

In my last post we saw that we live in a very fearful world and God’s reminder for us all is: fear not! As I reflected further on this, I find that this vital message comes at the intersection of two worlds: The world as it is and what it might be. A world which you and I encounter each day in real life, and a world that we all wish it to be. A world we live in and a world that God has promised in the Scriptures—the Kingdom of God. The intersection between these two realities is a scary place. It’s the place of poverty, politics, power, and prestige. It’s the place of hunger and destitution as well as the experience of a few who are filthy rich. It’s a place where humanity declares that all this talk of the so-called human evolution is but nonsense as our human depravity reveals.

Nevertheless, what is encouraging for me and I hope it will be for you is that into that very scary space, at the intersection of these two worlds, God has intervened. It’s at this very intersection of hopelessness and hope, fear and assurance, anxiety and confidence, that God has decided to be Immanuel—God dwelling with us in our very sinfulness and our brokenness. And when God decided to incarnate, he wasn’t looking for a perfect world to dwell in. He knows there is none. He wasn’t looking for a perfect couple to take care of baby Jesus. He chose Mary and Joseph who were both scared for obvious reasons. God decided to deliver the message of “fear not” to these trembling teenagers. God wasn’t looking for perfect wealthy aristocrats of Jerusalem in those days to announce the birth of his son, Jesus Christ. Instead, he chose the poor shepherds out in the field guarding their flock at night to declare the good news of the birth of Christ. Therefore, today, as you stand at the threshold of two worlds, remember that God is looking for you and me to proclaim the good news of Jesus’ birth to a frightened world. He perfectly knows that you’re not good at it. He still depends on you. Remember with whom did Jesus actually entrust the responsibility of evangelizing the world? A group of twelve timid disciples who had not only failed but denied him when he needed them the most. A band of the twelve who were scared and hiding in Jerusalem were empowered by the Lord through the Holy Spirit to share the gospel of light and joy. And so are we supposed to be doing today.

Therefore, let’s shrug off everything that holds us back and let the Holy Spirit use us, even us, for proclaiming the gospel at the intersection of our broken world and the Kingdom of God.

Come. Lord. Jesus.

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