Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Bethany Bullet - week of January 3, 2016

“That’s A Mystery”
Text: John 1:14

No mention of Mary Virgin mother to be,
No news of the tetrarch or of wise men 3.

No shepherds abiding with their flocks in the night,
Nor angelic chorus singing Gloria mid flight.

No carpenter, inn keeper or star over head,
No Bethlehem’s stable as the prophet’s had said.

John’s Christmas story so short and so fresh,
One simple sentence the word became flesh!

There are those who wonder why John includes no birth narrative of Jesus. True shepherds and stars, Mary and manger, Magi and mad king, angel and stable are synonymous with Christmas. However, the great mystery is not what John fails to mention but rather what He clearly articulates: God, in Christ, has become one of us (i.e. human) that we, through Christ, may become one with God. Deep indeed is the mystery of the incarnation of our God.

Our Redeemer becomes an infant! He who delivered Israel with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, He who would one day walk on water, must Himself go through the process of learning to roll over, push up, crawl and stand before He can walk. It would be mysterious enough if our God was willing so to do simply to identify with us in the development process. However, our God decides to do so in order to develop a new relationship with all us. A relationship that we had destroyed, and rather than destroy us; He becomes one of us that we might become one with Him!   

The One who made all things and is Himself without beginning or ending, who said, “Let there be” and it was good, at Christmas is Himself made of flesh and blood because it had all gone so terrible wrong. So He chose not to just become man, but to become mortal! He who breathed life into Adam would one day breathe His last. That would be mysterious enough if He had so decided to live a full span, being revered and honored going out in old age, but to do so knowing he would be reviled, humiliated, and crucified as a young man, that all men (women and children) might become one again with Him through Him, mysterious indeed!

The King of Kings is born in the city of David.  Where He, before whom every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, humbles himself and takes on the form of a servant. Mysterious enough if He would do so to take on menial chores to share our experience; however, He does so in order to share our guilt and fate, so that He might share His joy and righteousness. Yes, He takes on the form of a servant to tackle the chore none of us could: to live a perfect life, while dealing with the perfect mess that sin is and facing the perfect tempter named Satan…in order to save those who rebelled from His authority and wandered from His rule.  In order to save all, to save us, to save you! In order to declare us perfect, by grace through faith, that we might be one with Him, Who became one of us at Bethlehem.

·        Shepherds and star,
·        Mary and manger,
·        Magi and mad king,
·        angel and stable
ALL share a part in the Christmas story. 

Yet what makes Christmas merry, happy, joyous is the mysterious act of God, in Christ, becoming one of us, that we, through Christ, might be one with God.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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