Thursday, December 25, 2014

What a Baby, What a Savior, What a King

Dear Ones - I have been wrapped in the love of Jesus this beautiful Christmas Day, 2014.  Something that has been running through my mind is the "magnificent personification." This what Dr. David Jeremiah calls our Heavenly Daddy and almighty God personified in a helpless babe.

I recently did a thorough study of the concept of leadership.  There are so many books, seminars, training sessions, articles and yes, even sermons on the subject.  There's no way I could read them all, but what I did read left me with two main characteristics of a true leader - authenticity and vulnerability.

We are instinctively drawn to people who are real and not afraid to be vulnerable, to admit they don't know everything and are still willing to learn.

Those characteristics are exactly what Jesus personified when He came as a helpless baby.  The birth of a baby is something that still mystifies humanity, creates wonder sometimes where there is no hope, gives people a reason to live, to do better, to commit, to step up, to grow up.  A baby captures our hearts and draws people together. It is something that cannot be ignored. The birth of a baby is transformational.

At birth we are the most vulnerable. As babies, we are totally dependent on others for everything, including our most basic needs.  When we are babies, we are also the most authentic.  We have the nature that will allow us to learn the concept of guile and deceit, but as babies we are pretty real about what we need and want and not shy at all about letting someone know by any means necessary.

I know there are many theological reasons that Jesus came as a baby, but I am speaking from my heart today.  I am reminded that He came when the Jewish people were in bondage - not in the height of their glory.  He was born in a manger, laid down to sleep in a feeding trough.

I read that there was a "touch of glory" in His birth with the bright star and angels declaring his birth, but even they appeared outside the city to the most humble of men - shepherds.  He was born in humiliating circumstances, to a virgin whose husband-to-be had to believe this unbelievable story that she had not been with another man.

I will never forget hearing Mark Lowry say that if he had been Mary, he would have asked the angel that declared the news to her to please go tell her mother and daddy, too, because they were never going to believe her. That should illicit a chuckle.

Think about what it took for Joseph to believe her and stand with her. At first he didn't but loved her enough that he was not going disgrace her.  I'm sure they were both very grateful for the angel's message to Joseph so he would understand the truth. But the angels didn't tell the neighbors.  What do you think they thought?

He grew up in the "backwoods"  of Galilee - not known as "the" place to live in those days.  His life was characterized by humility and a sense of peace (except when He whipped those boys out of the temple).

He was the perfect example of obedience in all circumstances - even to the death of the cross as my sinless Savior (Phil 2:8). He went through all of the stages of human growth and daily circumstances so that we could see He was not a high priest that didn't know what we were going through, but He was tempted just like we are yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).  He showed wisdom in all circumstances; after all, He created wisdom before he created anything else and walked hand-in-hand with her to create all things (Prov. 8).

What pride and arrogance I can sometimes exhibit.  I have so much.  I don't need anything, and yet sometimes, I moan and complain about my circumstances.  I want to be like Jesus, who was born in humility, lived in humility with the Power of his Father at His beck and call, yet chose to joyfully relinquish it all on my behalf.

Oh the preciousness and power of the "Magnificent Personification."  Lord Jesus, I yearn for your peace, your humility, your grace, your meekness.  I choose to step aside and beg for all of you and none of me - not just because I'm tired of me, but for the pure, unadulterated joy of knowing you fully and representing you by your grace and mercy in this world.

Don't let us lose the wonder of the blessed night when you first came as a baby, your death, burial and resurrection as our beloved Savior, and your promise of returning as our glorious King to gather us to yourself that where you are, there we will always be (John 14:3).

I will be happy in swaddling clothes, lying in a feeding trough, vulnerable at your feet.  What a place of safety - the cleft of the rock.  Looking forward with great anticipation to 2015.  Maybe this will be the year He comes as my King.  Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus. Oh, how I love that name.  I love you all.  Mecca