Sunday, December 25, 2011
A Day like no other day.
It was an extra special day. A day like no other day, a day when God, that personage we believe made the Sun and all the planets and spun them into their orbits, stepped out of Himself and into humanity... to touch His own creation, so that we might be One forever.
We do not know the exact time or place, but around two thousand years ago he was born to a woman on a road trip, in Bethlehem, a Middle Eastern village and celebrated by the lowly sheepherders who were invited by angels to witness his birth. His name was Jeshua, "God among us," but the general Hellenization of that part of the world rendered it Jesus. He explained much later that he did not come into the world to comdemn it, but to save it. So we celebrate this wonderful time on this day. December 25th. Symbolically, perhaps the most important day in HIStory.
His mother was a pure young virgin, yet impregnated by the Creator while betrothed to his earthly father, who was understandably overwhelmed and confused by the whole scenario. To some a degree, the world still is.
Whoever he was, the world was never the same. Had it been a contrivance or a deception, his coming and ministry would have been outed, but instead his followers ultimately brought a revolution in thought and deed; Love your enemies; Love one another; To not treat women as possessions but as partners; and treat children as gold; for "He who is last shall be first."
"He who seeks his life shall lose it. But he who loses himself for my sake ... shall find it."
A descendant of King David of Jerusalem, his aged aunt had already given birth, miraculously, to a cousin that would later announce him as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." The son of a respected Jewish priest, he was called John the Baptist, a Nazrite priest so compelling he inspired religions in his own right. But thirty three years later, as a "voice crying in the wilderness" he told those gathering at the Jordan River, those who would listen, that he was not worthy to loosen his cousin's sandals.
And even though this newborn King caught his own countrymen by surprise; stagnant and corrupted, others were more than ready. Wise men or "Magi" from afar were already on the way to pay homage to him, bringing gifts from all over the Middle East and the Orient. They had been told by the stars of his coming, even led to his birthplace. To all of them... the parents, the shepherds, the angels and the wise men, it was a day like no other day.
So jealous was the king in those times, he ordered all the baby boys of Bethlehem killed, rather than risk competing with a worthy rival. Herod was not a Jew, and word of this newborn king was a piercing threat. This was a real person, with real impact, God in the flesh, who was opposed by the powers of evil from the very first day. But he was no ordinary child. Truly it was a day like no other day.
As he grew into manhood, his parents and family knew he was set apart, no common boy, and an old man looked into him and saw a light; THE light unto the world. Foretold by celestial signs for the pagans of Persia, Asia Minor and Egypt, his life had already been written in the ancient Jewish scriptures, where the prophets of old saw glimpses of his wonderful gifts and powers.. and sacrificial death. He was to be bruised for our transgressions, broken for our iniquities. He fulfilled all of their prophesies required of a Savior. A Savior like no other.
So today we celebrate this awesome, perfect expresssion of love. A mission from God. Born in a livestock shed. Praised by the Heavenlies. A short life that changed human history, and reconciled us with our Maker.
On a day, this day, a day like no other day.