The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in a humble manger invites us to lift our eyes to see God’s greater reality amidst our every day lives. The God who is “I am”, the “Creator of all things”, (Gen 14:19) in whom “all things hold together” (Col 1: 17), at whose Name “ten thousand upon ten thousand angels bow down in adoration and praise” (Rev 5: 11), and who holds the whole universe “in the palm of His hand” (Isaiah 40:12), became a baby, submitted Himself to time and space, to the sneers and skepticism of those He created, to disease, discomfort, and ultimately to death.
Why? So that He might “live the life we should have lived and die the death we should have died” (Keller). Jesus came and gave his life as a substitute for ours. He took the punishment we deserve for rebelling against God and in exchange offers us His righteousness, inheritance, and privileges as members of God’s family. And He offers this gift of grace . . . for free. Our sin, regret, and shame in exchange for His unconditional love, grace and joy.
If you are unaware of God’s power or presence in your life, unaware of His love for you or His will for your life, come and receive . . . If you are burdened by guilt, weariness, disappointment, failure, loneliness, or the loss of a job or a loved one, come and receive Christ. He rose from the dead and is alive today. He is Emmanuel, God with us. When we decide to receive Him, individually, by faith, He takes up residence by His Spirit in our lives. He changes us into the people we always wanted to be, He promises to provide everything we need, and someday we will live in heaven with Him forever.
This is the gospel, the good news, the invitation of Christmas.
This Christmas way we be humble enough to receive the One who entered time and space as a man and who now reigns as “the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings” and “who reigns forever and ever” (Handel).
Receiving the Gift of Jesus with You, ~ David
TAt first I saw God as an observer and my Judge,
Keeping track of the things I did right and wrong,
So as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die.
But later on when I met Christ, life became rather like a great
bike ride. But it was a tandem bike.
When I invited Christ into my life He humbly took the
back seat and helped me peddle when I asked for help.
I don’t know just when it was that He suggested we change places
but life has not been the same since.
When I had control, I didn’t really know where I was going.
Life was predictable and about arriving to the next destination.
But when He took the lead, I learned He knew a lot more about
life and bikes and adventure than I did.
He new beautiful long cuts, up mountains, through rocky places at
breath-taking speeds. He went slower at times when I wanted to go fast,
and faster than I could imagine when I thought we should go slow.
Sometimes when I got anxious, I would yell out: “Where are you
taking me?” He would glance back over his shoulder and say with a
smile, “ Keep Pedaling . . . and trust me.”
So I had to learn to trust. And as I did, I grew to love the ride. I
forgot my old life & entered into the adventure He had planned.
He took me to people with gifts I needed, gifts of healing and joy.
At some point He told me to start giving the gifts away to people we
met. And When I did, I found that in giving I received, my joy
increased and my burdens became lighter.
I did not trust Christ at first to take control of my life. I thought He
would wreck it.
But slowly I realized, with Him in front, this ride of Life was better than any
I could ever have asked for or imagined.
Somewhere along the road of life, I found myself more and more just
tapping Him on the shoulder and saying, “Thank you.”
"[Most churches] are very much unlike the spiritually vibrant and relationally rich mission stations described in Acts 2. The 'ultimate concern' of most [21st century] church goers is not the worship and service of Christ, but rather survival, self improvement, or success in their family and secular vocations. Church activities are just another spoke on an already full wheel of life dominated by secularization and self absorption. Some may repeat the catchwords of a theology of grace, but they have little if any awareness of the depth and power of Christ's love and purpose for them. Since their understanding of the gospel of grace is marginal or unreal, anchored not in Christ but to an imagined state of goodness in their lives, they know little of the dynamic power of Christ and so have very little incentive to follow or trust Him on a daily basis.
This religious existence does not satisfy their consciences nor their hearts at the deepest level so there is both an underlying insecurity in their lives and a seeking of meaning and purpose a part from Christ and His Kingdom. Consciously they defend themselves as dedicated Christians who are as good as anyone else, but underneath there is deep despair, a 'theology of works', and a deep self-rejection." - Richard Lovelace, Dynamics of A Spiritual Life page 204-205
About the ResBlog
Members of staff and Vestry will be posting on the ResBlog to help us think through who we are in light of the gospel so that we might “spur one another on to love and good deeds.”