The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14
There is no end to the long line of people who accuse God of being absent or harsh. I’ve found most of them are people who consider themselves king of their own lives, and need a scapegoat when difficulties come their way.
The God that I’ve known is tender with unending mercy. He is generous and kind. He has set natural rhythms like sunrise and sunset to sustain my life, while also being a shield and protector. He is the only reason I can give for surviving a collision with a deer at 80MPH on a motorcycle without a helmet. Or escaping a total-loss-house-fire without renter’s insurance. Or seeing my wife play tennis less than a week after having a major stroke.
But the kindest, most daring thing he ever did, was move into the neighborhood. The “Word” in this passage is referring to Jesus.
Christmas isn’t just a festive time for Americans to be in a better mood and overspend.
Nor is it just a celebration of the birth of the greatest person who ever walked the planet. Christmas is the beginning of the end of spiritual status quo. After leading, teaching, directing, orchestrating, interacting and pursuing us from afar, Christmas is when God touched down on earth.
Jesus made the bold claim that He and God were one and the same (John 10:30). If we need a refresher on the character, behavior, and demeanor of God, we need only look to Jesus.
Is God really good? Look at Jesus. Is He really forgiving and kind? Look at Jesus. Does God care about me, and people like me, who feel like misfits, lost and left behind? Look at Jesus.
Jesus didn’t come to earth for a birthday party, carols, and eggnog.
He came to reconcile us to God, and to put to rest, once and for all, our doubts and fears about the goodness of God.
He is good because Jesus was good. He is forgiving and kind because Jesus was the same. He cares about you, even when you feel lost and left behind, because those are the people Jesus spent time with.
The farther away I am from you, the more difficult it is for me to have a conversation with you. Distance creates separation that is hard to overcome until we’re in the same room, face-to-face. That’s Jesus, and that’s what began on Christmas.
The God who made the universe isn’t making a list and checking it twice, on the lookout for naughty kids to punish.
He moved into the neighborhood to convince you, once and for all, that He is good.
It’s time to take Him at His word.
Pray this: Father, I am thankful for the example of Jesus. He shows Your kindness, goodness, and grace in perfect clarity. Thank you for acting to remove the separation between us. That was a bold move, and I celebrate it this Christmas season. Amen.
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