Tag Archives: Christmas

WHEN Jesus

When is a matter of timing.  It could be used like a child’s entreaty on a long trip,”When will we be there?” It could be used as a threat, “When your father gets home…!” When could be used as a promise, “When we are finished shopping we’ll get ice cream.”  But no matter how it is used, the event in question is not theoretical, its considered by all parties to be something that will definitely happen.

We talked about what our response might be IF God showed up with a word for our lives, whether in the form of an Angel or otherwise and considered how we would react.  But I have GOOD NEWS.  In fact, the best of all possible news.  It isn’t a matter of IF God is going to show up, its a matter of WHEN God is going to show up.

As a matter of fact, I can tell you when He did.  It was when Quirinius was Governor of Syria and when Caesar Augusts was Emperor.  That was when is showed up in “the meat”, that’s kind of what incarnate means, when he took on our physical form.  In the words of Philippians 2:6-7 Jesus, “..did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

But that is not the end of the WHEN.  When Pontius Pilate was Governor of Palestine, the baby who was born when Quirinius was Governor died in our place.  At the right time.  Romans 5:5-8 tells us,
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

And WHEN was the right time?  It had little to do with Quirinius and Pilate, and everything to do with us, that’s all of us who are now, ever were or ever will be.  It had to do with when we were powerless against sin and death and hell.  When is that?  Its right now because we are always powerless against those.  Jesus didn’t just come back then, He is with us now!

Romans  5:9-10 reminds us, “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with us,  has come!  The power of death is defeated.  And the WHEN is now, for those who belive.

Merry Christmas and the Peace of the Born, Crucified and Risen Christ be with you.

2012-12-10 22.48.50

IF Angels

If, like its cousin while, is also a complex logical construct.  It suggests a possibility and asks (or tells) what will happen if the possibility becomes reality.  If does not deal in probability, only possibility and reality.  It is also a construct subject to analysis by Boolean methods (evaluating as true or false) and therefore extremely useful in computer programming.

It is also useful in planning  for contingencies, and it is the core of at least one entire industry.  What if you run into another car while driving?  What if you get sick or hurt?  What if there is a hail storm or your house catches fire?  What would happen to my family if I died?  What happens if my tree falls on my neighbor’s car?  You get the point?

So ubiquitous is IF that we don’t even catch ourselves using it.  Can I still retire if the markets tank?  What if I won the lottery?  What if Baylor wins the Big XII football title? (Oh snap, they did.)  Everything we plan and most of what we think about involves an if.

But here’s one you might not think about all that often.  What if God or one of His angels, showed up for a word with us?

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Luke, a Place in History

At last we come to the most popular (at least in the present day United States) account of Jesus’ birth. This is perhaps because it is more accessible to us as Westerners because of its fully chronological style and reason for existing.

Just like the other authors Luke tells us upfront why he is writing his account.  In 1:3-4 he says “…I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”

Several questions pop immediately to the fore; were the other accounts disorderly and who the heck is Thophilus?  Both of those questions go to the heart of the really big question which is: Why was Luke writing?  And the answer here is, we’re not really sure.

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