We are coming to the final Sunday of Advent. This is a joyful season in which we are celebrating the love of God and the manifestation of that love in the person of his son Jesus the Christ. The narrative of the appearing of that Christ child is for some simply a static story which recalls the fond memories of past celebrations of an age long ago. We are enamored with its appeal to our emotional, and relational recollections, and not much else. However, this Christmas narrative points to something a great deal more far reaching than stagnant rituals would suggest; it directs us to a dynamic, earth turning, soul moving lifestyle which motivates a world to aspire for the Kingdom of God.
When have you heard from heaven? Is God still speaking, or has he gone silent, as he was in the four hundred years prior to the coming of his son in humanity? Our present attitude, like the people of that era, demonstrates that we have resolved that keeping the commandments of God are a useless exercise. Certainly, we are involved in the exercise of religious service; however, is there any genuine responsiveness to the call of God, to his purpose and design for our lives. That call reminds us as the prophet Samuel states “to obey is better than sacrifice ” I Sam. 15:22.
Before Elijah ( the person representative of his ministry ) comes there was a deadness in Israel, a shadow of death experience, keeping the people from a dynamic and fruitful relationship with God and with one another. So is the Christian dynamic and fruitfulness suspended today, until we can hear the voice of reconciliation, receive it, and respond to it in obedience. A voice is calling us once again the Christmas dynamic, even as John the Baptist called the people to the need for repentance. This voice of the Christmas narrative is important because it prepares us to receive the solution to our unfruitfulness.
Our obedient responsiveness inspired by the call of this narrative is reflected by our hearts attitude toward giving. The Old Testament of the Bible commands the worshipper to bring all of the tithe ( tenth ) into God’s house. After the Christmas dynamic, the coming of Christ, recorded in the New Testament, Christians are exhorted to excel in the grace of giving ( II Cor. 8:7 ). We are encouraged to consider that we owe everything to the one who, for our sake, made himself poor ( Php. 2:7 ). The Christ child himself, in that Christmas dynamic narrative, demonstrates the importance of giving, in the giving of his glory that we might have an abundance of life. Consequently, this dynamic narrative provides us with the motivation to respond in obedient activity that propels us to a life of fruitfulness.
Consider this Christmas dynamic as recorded in the gospel of Luke. Zechariah, although with some reluctance to receive the announcement, responded in obedient prayer (1:13). The results was the birthing of the voice of preparation. Mary demonstrated her willingness to be God’s holy vessel (1:38). She became the mother of the redeemer. Shepherds stopped what they were doing in obedience to God’s call (2:8,17,20,). They became the first evangelists. Simeon and Anna (2:25,34,38) became prophetic voices for the breaking in of God’s kingdom. The wise men in Matthew 2: 1,2,10-12), took the good news back to the east. And forget not the testimony of John the Baptist in John 1:4,6), his voice assures us that light has pierced this present darkness.
Characters of the Christmas dynamic are not stuck in time. No, this is no static story simply to be remembered at a certain season, and then we continue plodding on in our own way through the darkness. This story should consistently serve as our example that we have been empowered to move upward into a dynamic life of abundance and fruitfulness. We are witnesses that the narrative is active in the world today; for the events of the Christmas dynamic have changed the course of our history and the course of human history in general.
This is Jerome, Personal Enrichment Consultant, from the Powerhouse saying: Blessings Now!