I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving with your family and friends. We now have arrived at the beginning of the Advent and Christmas Season. December 3rd being the First Sunday of Advent. The parament color is now Blue. Advent is a season for waiting and preparing for Jesus. It’s a wonderful time of year and a time when we really need to pull ourselves together and think about just why we do what we do here at Weedsport First Baptist. It’s a time to invite or re-invite friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to come with us to church services and church events. It’s a time to focus on the “Reason for the Season”…JESUS!
John Donne wrote a poem on the birth of Christ. He says it well in just a few words:
Nativity, begins with these lines,
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb
There he hath made himself to his intent
Now leaves his well-beloved imprisonment
Weak enough, now into our world to come
But Oh, for thee, for him, hath th’ Inn no room
I believe John captured beautifully, the irony, contradiction, and capriciousness of God in Jesus Christ. We have an immensity God, one who can’t be gazed upon, put in a box, nor even understood, yet one that is cloistered in the form of a child in a virgin’s womb. This omnipotent God that is ‘imprisoned,’ lovingly in his mother’s womb and when he is weak enough, it’s then that Jesus comes into our world. This is what we celebrate at Christmas, an unknowable God coming to us in the form of the Christ child. We call him Emmanuel, meaning “God with us.” How impossible is this Christmas Story? In the book of Colossians 1:15 the Bible tells us Jesus “is the image of the invisible God.” Another contradiction comes to us in Jesus. An invisible God that has an image upon which we can gaze. Once there was nothing and now there’s Christmas. We that were without hope, living in darkness, have been sent hope, and a light to shine in the midst of the darkness. There is very little in the Christmas Story that makes sense to those who would seek a rational explanation or a scientific understanding. To those who encountered the Christ child, to those who have seen light in the midst of their darkness, those who had hope when there was only despair, those who had been loved at their most unlovable, the Christmas Story is very real and makes much sense. What was thought to be impossible is very possible.
This is a story of God coming to us when we couldn’t go to him. It’s a story of God turning everything upside down in our wrong side up world. It’s the story of a God that says when we are weak, then we are strong. When we give the most of (tithes, talents, time) we don’t become empty, but rather we gain more. When we seek to serve others and put the interest of others first, then we will be cared for. When we grow old, frail and die, then we actually come to life.
During December, the season of Advent and Christmas, if you have any disbelief or skepticisms, I invite and encourage you to suspend those thoughts and journey with me to Bethlehem, to the stable, to the manger to see this thing God has done. Journey with me to trust God, give ourselves, and all we have to do God’s work. Let us gaze again upon this image of an invisible God. Let us be caught up in the beauty, wonder, and excitement of it all. Let us celebrate again or maybe truly for the first time that GOD IS WITH US and let us go forth to live lives as if we truly believed this impossible story…. lives that make the world take notice. Let us live the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Invite someone to attend church with you, Pray continually, Read and Study Your Bible.
From our Family to Yours, have a Safe and Merry Christmas with your family and friends. God Bless you. In His Service, Pastor Doug