Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Disciples’ Solstace

So I heard this line of scripture quoted way out of context:
“Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more”

We live in a dark world, and it’s getting darker.  The consequences are that lights shines ever more brightly.  But then … remember that according to our Lord, everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn’t come to the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

Know what you get when there’s a very bright light in a very dark place? 

We are emerging from a world that had lots of shades of gray into a world that’s increasingly black and white.  The goats are separating themselves from the sheep, because they don’t want their actions exposed. 

As this trend gathers momentum, it will be increasingly difficult to choose the light.  Many of our friends and family will not so choose. 

I know this isn’t exactly a warm fuzzy Christmas message, but…

This may be one of the last Christmases.  Our Lord may return at any moment, and He Himself told us to prepare and be ready for His return.  But also, as the contrast increases between ourselves and our friends and family … disciples will become the prophets who are disliked by kings and peoples.  Our Father’s message of hope is also a message of repentance.  The message we deliver to the prodigal is: “come back home.”  The prodigal may not love that message, and he may kill the messenger.  It is the way of things. 

People don’t like change, and prodigals left home for a reason.  They want their “freedom,” and to be on their own and to choose to live selfishly and have fun.  They don’t want to get up early and work for the Father.  They only want to serve when it’s convenient, when it’s cool, popular, warm and fuzzy.  They certainly don’t want to leave their comfort zone and come into the light. 

If Christmas is really a celebration of the coming of Jesus into the world, then the first Christmas Eve was a night of tears and difficulty for our Lord’s Father.  Yahweh sending His Son into this dark world must have been the most difficult thing a Father has ever done or will ever do.  But He gave us this gift – the greatest one ever given.  And when His Son returned home, Jesus left us with the challenge to follow His example, and give ourselves daily. 

It’s all a question of perspective, really.  One human’s delirious joy at being saved is another’s dread of having light shined on his sin.  One loving Father’s difficult night became a celebration for a whole world.  And one Man’s gift – became our challenge, and gave rise to a new, eternal kingdom. 

The quote at the begging of this article is from Romans 5:
The Torah came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:20-21
One bit of this hit me really hard this Christmas morning, for the first time: “So grace would reign.”  Paul is writing that before Jesus’ sacrifice, the “ruler” (through the Torah) was: sin.  But now: grace reigns. 

The word for “grace” in Greek is: Charis, and it means simply: gift.  To put it another way, “giving rules.”  Giving!  Rules!  Can you see it?  Jesus gave Himself, God gave His Son, and we are asked to give!  Why do people hate our Father’s message?  Because He asks them to give – and they want to receive. 

Who’s your daddy?  Who’s your king?  Who rules your life?  Giving or taking?

merry christmas

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