Thursday, December 10, 2015

LISTEN...Christ is Coming! ~ Advent 2015

For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

"The Giver becomes the Gift, this quiet offering." Ann Voskamp


Familiar names fill Bethlehem's ancestry, names like Caleb, Rachel, Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, and David, and its place is etched in history long before the coming of Christ. As predicted 700 years before (Micah 5:2) in the village of Bethlehem surrounded by the darkness of night, the Gift arrives - "this quiet offering" - Christ the Lord. From a virgin womb to a worn manger, the coming of Christ births God's plan for reconciliation. The Bread of Heaven comes to give life to the world. With the power of redemption, reaching into the darkness of humanity, Love embraces brokenness. LISTEN!

Centuries foretell this holy night, revealing more than recorded historic prophecy. In an ordinary stable, Jesus is born into the world. An event so extraordinary, thousands of heavenly angels proclaim His coming, "for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Songs of praise and hope fill the night sky. From silent terror to urgent action, these shepherds, these socially undesirables, these lowly peasants, these religiously unclean sinners who are not allowed into the temple, who are not allowed to testify in court ~ THESE simple shepherds become the first to be told of a Savior entering the world. They respond, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." (Luke 2:15) The humble surroundings of Christ's coming stand in stark contrast to the glorious announcement of the angels. The first witnesses who would testify about His birth are the antithesis of the kings and religious leaders who would testify against Jesus. LISTEN! 

The coming of Christ marks a permanent place on history's timeline, marks the beginning of a spiritual transformation for humanity. He comes bringing salvation to all - for kings and outcasts, for rich and poor; Christ holds no preferences for race or gender, for social status or cultural origin. He is not defined by person or place. On that mysteriously, miraculous night, the coming of Christ begins to change the people, one simple shepherd at a time. Good news of great joy for all people comes as a gift of Perfect Love. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) Immanuel, God with us, comes to us. Don't miss Him! LISTEN! ~dho

* Ann Voskamp, "The Greatest Gift"