It's been a while since I've written anything personal in this blog. Christmas is fast approaching. Yesterday I was out for several hours and when I got back home I found that our Scrooge-house was made festive by my daughter and her boyfriend....They had decorated it and done a wonderful job...So that kind of made my day.
I find this year that Christmas is sliding in under my radar. I have not been to any malls or stores so the retail aspect of the celebration is missing. Of course websites try to cash in on the holiday by having great sales and some of them have "decorated" their websites....but somehow that is not the same as being in a crowded mall and seeing the lines to sit on Santa's lap and struggling to find a parking place within a mile of the mall entrance. Of course those days might be a thing of the past. Does anyone shop at a mall anymore....when the world is at our fingertips online? Will all stores go the way of the book store crisis? It is a changing world we live in ---and not always for the better.
And of course that is only the secular version of Christmas. Maybe with the malls out of the way, there will be more room for the infant Jesus to fill us with wonder and adoration. I am reading a book where the author talks about "the lost art of Adoration"...and that same thing was repeated in an issue of Charisma magazine. Have I adored the baby King? Has the miracle wrought in Mary's womb stirred me to praise? Has the fulfillment of God's promise made back in the Garden of Eden struck me with amazement? Does all of this cause me to set my sights on the day when he returns...not as a babe but as a King to gather all those who are truly his together?
It is all miraculous.
We do not see many miracles these days....similar to the state of God's people who were awaiting a Messiah to come and rule and to free their nation from Roman rule....God had been silent for 400 years. Now, thankfully, we have God's Spirit, so to his people God has not been silent. But culturally, God is being more and more kicked out of the realm of everyday life. Teachers in public schools are not allowed to speak of him..."in God we Trust" is being disparaged and they want to remove it from our money, just like prayer has been removed from school. God is silent in the face of these affronts. And in the middle East and Northern Africa, Christians are being slaughtered and yes there are some miracles going on there but all in all, Evil is advancing and crowding God out of the culture.
It seems like God is silent.
God, where are You? Come and defend your people! Yet the time is not right...I'm afraid that much more blood will be shed before the King returns. Why is this? Because there are still billions who need to hear and respond to the Gospel message. God wants to gather every person who would seek him to himself. And the price is the blood of martyrs.
So what does this all have to do with Christmas?
Looking back at the Babe, should turn our sights to the next return of the King. We should be lost in the wonder of the visitations of the Most High God to this sin-wracked planet. Why should he care so much/? Why does he Love so much? Enough to condense his "God-ness" down into an 8 lb baby (just guessing at the baby's weight)....enough to live obscurely and then rejected as he began to "go public" with who he really was. No one wanted to believe that this man---was really the offspring of God come to seek and to save that which was lost. They were waiting for the King to come....not understanding all the prophecies which discussed his humility and low beginnings...that he would be "despised and rejected of men;" that he would suffer and die shedding his blood as the final sacrifice for the sins of this sin-uglied planet. All of which must occur prior to the return of the King....this time bearing a sword of judgement against those who have shed the blood of his people; against those who have uttered false prophecies; against those for whom wealth and materialism was an un-scalable wall separating them from a life of faith. He will seek, find and rescue those of humble hearts...those who have refused to deny his Name even in the face of death.
The wonder of the Incarnation --may it fill your hearts this season. The impending Glory of his next Return--should strike your heart with JOY. And if it does not, then perhaps you need to ready your heart by handing it over to the Babe and to the coming King. Because there will come a time when "Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus the Christ is Lord" unfortunately for many that confession will come too late to save them.
O Come Let us Adore Him.!!