Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 24, 2017
This year, today, the fourth Sunday of Advent bumps right up against Christmas eve. This fourth Sunday of Advent has traditionally become the Sunday when the candle of Love is lit. How does God’s love show up on this day? Perhaps we can see God’s love in the way God, the Word became flesh.
It all happened in a moment, a most remarkable moment. As moments go, that one appeared no different than any other. If you could somehow pick it up off the timeline and examine it, it would look exactly like the ones that have passed while you have heard these words. It came and it went. It was preceded and succeeded by others just like it. It was one of the countless moments that have marked time since eternity became measurable.
But in reality, that particular moment was like none other. For through that segment of time a spectacular thing occurred. God became a man. While the creatures of earth walked unaware, Divinity arrived. Heaven opened herself and placed her most precious one in a human womb.
The omnipotent, in one instant, made Himself breakable. He who had been spirit became pierce-able. He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. And He who sustains the world with a word chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young girl.
God as a fetus. Holiness sleeping in a womb. The creator of life being created.
God was given eyebrows, elbows, two kidneys, and a spleen. He stretched against the walls and floated in the amniotic fluids of his mother.
God had come near.
He came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conqueror, but as one whose first cries were heard by a peasant girl and a sleepy carpenter. The hands that first held Him were unmanicured, calloused, and dirty.
No silk. No ivory. No hype. No party. No hoopla.
Were it not for the shepherds, there would have been no reception. And were it not for a group of star-gazers, there would have been no gifts.
Angels watched as Mary changed God’s diaper. The universe watched with wonder as The Almighty learned to walk. Children of the neighbourhood played in the street with Him. And had the synagogue leader in Nazareth known who was listening to his sermons….
Jesus may have had pimples. He may have been tone deaf. Perhaps a girl down the street had a crush on Him or vice-versa. It could be that his knees were bony. If He lived in Canada today He might have been quite comfortable at hockey. One thing’s for sure: He was, while completely divine, completely human.
For thirty-three years He would feel everything you and I have ever felt. He felt weak. He grew weary, too tired to keep his eyes open. He was afraid of failure. He was susceptible to willing women. He got colds, burped, and had body odour. His feelings got hurt. His feet got tired. And his head ached. His fingers, toes, ears and nose would already have frozen in blustery minus 15 degrees windchill.
To think of Jesus in such a light is—well, it seems almost irreverent, doesn’t it? It’s not something we like to do; it’s uncomfortable. It’s much easier to keep the humanity out of the incarnation. Clean the manure from around the manger. Wipe the sweat out of his eyes. Pretend He never snored or blew his nose or hit his thumb with a hammer.
He’s easier to stomach that way. There is something about keeping Him divine that keeps Him distant, packaged, predictable.
But don’t do it. For heaven’s sake, don’t. Let Him be as human as He intended to be. Let Him into the mire and muck of our world. For only if we let Him in can He pull us out.
Listen to Him.
“Love your neighbour” was spoken by a man whose neighbours tried to kill Him.
The challenge to leave family for the gospel was issued by one who kissed his mother good-bye in the doorways.
“Pray for those who persecute you” came from the lips that would soon be begging God to forgive his murderers.
“I am with you always” are the words of a God who in one instant did the impossible to make it all possible for you and me.
It all happened in a moment. In one moment…a most remarkable moment. The Word became flesh.
The first moment of transformation went by, quite unnoticed by the world. But what if there is a second transformation? It won’t go by unnoticed. Let us live as if that second “moment” might indeed be happening.
Main source: https://maxlucado.com/just-a-moment/
Copyright 2017 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church
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