Grace Emerges

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Practice Emmanuel

The story of Emmanuel, or God with us, is recorded in history and in the hearts and lives of all mankind.  The ever-present God created each one of us in his image.  God's spirit and passion was placed in us. His light that ignites stars is found in the glimmer of our eyes.  His relentless encouragement of his children is echoed in the words and actions of human parents of any age.   God's creative energy gene was passed on as a dominant character trait.  His spiritual nature, wholeness in the trinity, and perfect holiness, were passed on to mankind in the form of our spiritual yearning, our social conscience, our inquisitive mind, and our illogical sacrificial love for other beings.

And then came Jesus.


The Incarnation.

The passion and person of God packaged in one life of 33-year extent.

And oh, what we learned from that God-person.  We learned that he fully represented God in nature, deed and mission.

We learned from a great assembly of angels, singing to shepherds, that the infinite Glory of God had arrived for one mission: PEACE.  Peace between God and man.  Peace lived out in tranformed hearts. Peace in the form of the ultimate king and the infinite kingdom, a king and kingdom which do not rule by force but by the power of freedom and free will in a peaceful revolution of kindness and fairness of a kind never before seen in the history of man.  No wonder that it was announced as good news -- wonderful joyous news!  Glory of God, and PEACE, juxtaposed, in the birth of a child.

No wonder we are giddy with celebration every December!  We celebrate the arrival not of God's rule but of his peace on earth.

Jesus asks one thing of us. Follow.  Practice Emmanuel.  In fact the power of Jesus to transform the world is not found in heaven where he reigns on a throne, or in the Glory of God announced by angels, or in history where we celebrate him being born in a barn with our traditions and songs.  The power of Jesus is only found in following.  Practicing Emmanuel.  God with us, meaning God continuing to live in us and demonstrated in us.  God with us in spirit.  The Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Christ.  We are the peace.  We are the good news.  We are the ones that represent God's nature in human form in this world today.  We are the light.  We are Emmanuel.  God is with us.

Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. 11 Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. 12 This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, 14 “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”
15 When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” [Luke 2]

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