Monday, December 19, 2016

Advent 2016

In celebrating Advent and reflecting on all that Christmas means, I was struck this morning with what was a new thought for me.  I have heard all my life that Christ would've died and rose again even if I was the only person alive.  But this morning it came to me, He would also have been born had I been the only other one.  He was born for me, as He died for me.

Ever amazed at thinking about how almighty God was crammed into a tiny baby and ultimately a grown man, knowing He would do all that for me is as staggering as the cross.  In Hebrews 4:15, it tells us He was tempted as we are.  Isaiah 53:3, that He was familiar with pain and grief.  He was born for it...for me, for every one of us.  For leaders in the world, for Olympic champions, for addicts who can't get a handle on their addiction, for the down and out, for the wealthy, for the good, for the bad...for all of us.  He is familiar with the pains that can fill our hearts.

But He doesn't leave us there hurting, He holds a hand out to us, offering hope, forgiveness, redemption.  And the very things that can put us under, become springboards for miracles.  Miracles begin in the heart.  To dare to hope, and then watch to see what He does, often times, quietly, seemingly in such a natural way, when in reality, it could only happen super-naturally.

The unfathomable love of God for us!  He won't allow short-cuts, only when we realize our utter hopelessness in our own strength, and how painfully guilty we are of putting Him up there on that cross, we are faced with the baby in the manger.  We are the reason He came.  The more I meditate on it, the more I realize Isaiah 64:6, "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away."  But God.  But the baby we celebrate.

Once again, it's Christmas.  Time to realize all He is and worship.