January 5

January 5, 12th Day of Christmas   FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH

Scripture: John 1:10-13

10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”

Some thoughts:

    As you consider the passage you just read, I am asking you to put yourself in the place of Christ for a moment. I realize this is a very naïve concept falling far short of any reality which in truth is not possible to comprehend, but let’s try in simple humility.

     You are the one through whom the Father created the universe simply by his speaking everything into existence. You know every person who has ever existed in greatest detail even before they came into being. While creation started out perfectly, the first two people you created rebelled as did those who followed. To a person, all the people who ever lived have rebelled and rejected you seeking their own ways. Yet, to this day your love and care continue for every single person. You have come to earth to offer the way back to the Father at great cost to yourself by your crucifixion. You have made the way available to everyone to be reborn   spiritually, not just your chosen people, Israel. You have provided the only way for the physical world to be united with the heavenly world for eternity. You have made possible a direct intimate relationship with the God of all creation. There is nothing any person can do to aid the transaction; they are hopeless without you. It is a matter of their receiving a gift which has been purchased on their behalf at great cost to God.

     Why would anyone reject your offer? Yet sadly, people out of pride, arrogance, and host of reasons do dismiss their only hope. I watched a debate involving the atheist, Christopher Hitchens. His condescension and caustic comments revealed a very angry, sad, and defiant person. He lived in a very, very dark world. Pray for all people who live in a dark world of anger, indifference, defiance, and rebellion who have yet to receive the Savior. Repentance leads to truth and eternity is a long time to have been wrong, stubborn, and selfish.

Music: “From Heaven Above” Westminster Choir

From heav’n above to earth I come

To bear good news to everyone!

Glad tidings of great joy I bring

Whereof I now will say and sing.

To you this night is born a child

Of Mary, chosen virgin mild

This little child, of lowly birth

Shall be the joy of all the earth.

Glory to God in highest heaven,

Who unto us His Son hath given!

While angels sing with pious mirth

A glad new year to all the earth.

                             -Martin Luther

Prayer: My Father in heaven, as we ponder the wonder of the Incarnation, help us to see more and more of its mystery and majesty. Forbid it, Lord, that we should ever take lightly what you willingly did on behalf of this fallen creation. How you laid aside your power as God and willingly became completely human is truly more than we can comprehend. Having prayed that, help us to wrestle with the great truth that you are fully God and fully man. In the joy and festivity of this season, may we not shy away from the great theological truths that have changed the course of history. We fervently pray for those who have yet to receive you. May it come to pass this year and may we be faithful in prayer. In the name of the Incarnate Christ we pray. Amen.          –Dan Sharp

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