Born to Die: What a Way to Save the World!

The people in darkness have seen a great light!

A message to ..well, you know who you are: Lay off the teenagers who were hurt-either by the pedophile or by living through the pain.  Haven’t they been hurt enough? And you seek them out on a blog to continue demeaning them? Egads! Pick on someone your own age. And you wonder why kids leave the faith in college?

And so it began one night in a cave meant to house animals.  This was certainly a strange way to redeem mankind. A heavenly chorus of angels announced His coming but only a few shepherds actually heard it. God seems to be in the business of presenting opposites. Think about it. I heard a sermon years ago that pointed some out. Although I don’t remember it exactly, I will give you the picture.

The immortal takes on mortality.
The invulnerable becomes vulnerable.
The Creator becomes the created.
The invisible becomes visible.
Spirit became flesh.
The Owner of the sheep on a thousand hills was born in a cave used to house sheep.
The Extraordinary became ordinary.
The omnipotent set aside His power.
The sinless would take on sin.
The Lover would be despised.
Born to die.

Imagine Mary. She was a mother who was created and saved by her son. She was a virgin having a “one of a kind” pregnancy. And a mother, as well as everyone else around her, can’t ignore a pregnancy. Yet she accepted her role with the ridicule that it brought. No wonder Mary did a lot of pondering in her heart. What in the world do you say to all of this?

Imagine Joseph. There are men who have taken on the role of fathering children of other men. How in the world would Joseph father the Son of The Father? I bet Joseph didn’t do much talking either. He certainly bore the ridicule of his community as well.

Perhaps the census was a gift from God. At least it got these two unusual parents away from the whispers and smirks. God kept them away for a long time. It was enough time to let the rumors die down. But the rumors would not be forgotten when this Baby became the Savior.

I wonder how May felt, going into labor in a cave. She was told she was bearing the Son of God. Couldn’t God have provided a decent placer to stay? What about a midwife? Why in the world were there only animals to witness this event? He was supposed to be the King of Kings, wasn’t He? And then, a while later, He told them to flee to safety in Egypt. Egypt? Didn’t God get Moses and the people out of Egypt where they were being abused? Well, one thing was certain, Herod and the bad guys in this story would probably avoid tracking them into Egypt.

This Child came to save His people. These people were in desperate need of a Savior. They too seemed to have an “opposite” thing going on.

They were:

Children of a King yet lived like paupers
Made to live eternally yet died.
Given paradise but lived in poverty
Created to love yet bound by hatred
Created for freedom but lived in captivity
Created to shine yet lived in darkness

The time had come. A light sliced into the darkness and man would never be the same. By this Child, we would measure life itself. One would either accept His remedy or not. And those who accepted, would be known by his name-Christian. Even time itself would be measured by this birth BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini- the Year of Our Lord)

He gave His people hope. In the midst of their sin, came a hand up out of the darkness. They would bear the scars of their rebellion but would walk upright, holding onto His Hand, walking in His way. By the way, this Child would one day bear scars as well. Scars from punishment He did not deserve.

I saw a strangely moving video this week. It features a dog, born to a junkyard dog, and missing her front legs. She was about to be destroyed but a teenage boy took pity on her and brought her home. Ignoring the naysayers, this dog, who is now named Faith, has learned to walk on her hind legs.  She now gives encouragement to soldiers who have lost limbs in battle. I finally figured out why the story of Faith is so compelling. Faith is a lot like each one of us. We are wounded sinners. We bear the scars of our transgressions and the transgressions of those who have gone before us. Yet Jesus reaches out to us and lifts us up and teaches us to walk in His way.

Please enjoy this video. We’ll see you this week. You will need to go to the link since embed is not available.,0,200129.story

Merry Christmas.


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