Archive for January, 2014

Questions asked during the Christmas Season

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

The Gospels and Epistles are loaded with questions during Advent and Christmas. Isn’t it wonderful that the church has established “seasons” like Advent and Christmas to give us lots of blessed time to think about: “Who are you? Where is He? What will I do now?”

“Who are you?” The Jews from Jerusalem, priests and Levites, asked John the Baptist, “Who are you?” John answered who he is NOT: “I am not the Christ” and who he IS: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert” (in a desert place; in a dry, thirsty world in desperate need of water… my heart whispers, “am I in need of grace?”). The voice in the desert cries out, “Make straight the way of the Lord.” (see John 1: 19-28) Take the question to heart and try to answer it. “Who am I?” I am a child of God. Jesus became human and made me his brother in Baptism. With Jesus, the heir to God, as my brother, I am a coheir. “Gentiles are coheirs.” (Ephesians 3:5-6; 1 John 2:29 - 3:6; Romans 8:14.) God adopted me; he sent his Spirit into me. (Galatians 4:4-7). As the coheir with Jesus, I have a responsibility (with all my brothers and sisters), I am the one who makes the Incarnation (the reality of God) visible through my actions, through my love, through my joy, through my stooping to bow before him whose sandal strap I am unworthy to touch.

Where is He? Herod asked, “Where is the newborn king?” “Where should I go to offer him homage?” As king of the Jews, Herod should have known this from Scripture, but he was unwilling to believe Scripture. What kind of stupid king was he? Kings are supposed to take care of their people (didn’t God in the OT and Jesus say this many times!!!) The good news was written in many places in Scripture: “The King will be born in Bethlehem …” But Herod wouldn’t believe and he certainly wasn’t going to put himself out to go see. He sent others to find the upstart who dared think he could be king. Enter the wise men!!! Wise outsiders (Gentiles, searchers) trusted their hearts to help them find what they were searching for. They were overjoyed at finding the child. Seeing the child, and believing Scriptures and the angels, the wise men changed their course to ensure that Herod would NOT find the child. Does this signify a change in the pathway of life? Is this what I should do now that I have found the manger?

What will I do now that I have found Christ? Now that I have seen Christ? I will go a different way. I will change. What course will I take? I will take the course that my heart sets as my thirsty heart runs toward the living water. I will run towards the heart of God. (See Psalm 41 and John 4 for the amazing water images!) God bless us this Christmas season.