Sunday, December 25, 2016

Rejoice! Emmanuel Has Come!

"Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son" Hebrews 1:1-2 (HCSB)

"The problem with believing in a deity is there is no way to know what that deity wants from you."  Deanna Troi made that statement in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called "Who Watches the Watchers?" She said it while trying to save a shipmate from becoming a human sacrifice at the hands of a primitive people they had been observing. Her statement demonstrates a fantastic point made by the agnostic or the atheist - if God exists, there is no way to know what God wants.  But this point is also the one God chose to blow out of the water on that first Christmas.

Up until that Christmas, one might have made the argument that all of the prophets and dreams and visions and angels were simply the delusions of human beings attempting to see the divine or explain the unexplainable. But when Jesus was born and the infant's cry sounded, God's voice was heard directly by human ears. No longer did God speak indirectly through prophets or in dreams and visions. No longer was the message filtered by the ignorance, prejudice and selfishness of mortal men. No longer did we have to guess about what God wanted. We heard his own voice tell us. As John said,

"What was from the beginning,
What we have heard,
What we have seen with our eyes,
What we have observed,
And have touched with our hands,
concerning the Word of life--
That life was revealed and we have seen it
And we testify and declare to you…"
(1 John 1:1-3, HCSB)

God removed any doubt that day about what He wanted from us or for us. He stepped out of Heaven and walked the same ground that we walk, breathed the same air that we breathe, and we heard his voice. "The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14, HCSB)

On this Christmas day, as we celebrate the gift of God's Son, take a few moments to be thankful that we don't have to guess anymore. We don't have to wonder if we got the message right. God spoke to us with his own voice. He healed us with his own hands. And He gave us His own Spirit to remind us. Rejoice! Emmanuel has come! God is with us!

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