Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On His Throne

Not long ago, a tiny heart started beating 
in the darkness of his mother's body.  
He had been named long before.
Because that Mama....she knew.

This baby was a miracle - he was impossible.  On top of that, he was a scandal.  This was not the "right time" for his mother to be pregnant and she knew what sort of criticism awaited her.  She tucked strategically placed scarves around her growing belly to disguise the love growing inside of her and braced herself for what was to come.

A few months later in the midst of a long journey, she found herself on the floor of a stall, crying out to God for mercy.  This baby was to be born at the worst possible time, in the worst possible place, and none of it made any sense.  

But it was perfect.  

And with Heaven opened up wide to a filthy stable, 

our King was born. 

Angels were released into our darkness, 
and they hovered over the place where he lay.  

More still, rushing the hillsides to announce 
the Savior's birth to the working class in the fields. 

"Come and see this baby boy 
who is making all sad things untrue!"  

And they came to worship.

Light shone down on the lowly part of town, 
and the One who crafted the world with his powerful hands now shivered in the night; 
those powerful hands now cloaked in infant flesh.

"The God who made us all
With these two tiny hands
Is bringing us His Kingdom 
Quiet as a Lamb"

His first breath taken for his people...  

Right up until His last breath - the one he mustered up at the very end so that he could shout our freedom out into the air...

Paid for!  Tetelestai!

And that tiny heart, the one that we celebrate this time of year?    

Eventually that tiny heart would be pierced and speared under a dark sky and his life poured out like water.  

His mother, the one who held his tiny body on this Christmas night?   

Her heart would also be pierced.  She would hold his shredded, ruined body after he gave his life up willingly.

Not long ago, a tiny heart started beating.  
God became flesh and dwelt among us.  

There was no way for us to come to Him, covered in our rags, so He came down to us and wrapped Himself in our sin - trading His life for ours, paying our debt on the cross.  

And those angels who heralded his birth?  

Years later, God held back armies of them while they raged in fury, watching in anguish from above as that same baby boy bled and died willingly for us, 
refusing to call them down for rescue 
- their King of Heaven pinned to a tree - 
while God the Father turned away.  

And it pleased God the Father to bruise Him 
- to crush Jesus under our weight.


For those who will believeth.

On that first silent night, the divine conspiracy was put into motion that would set us free.  He would die, rise again, and defeat death, and ask for us to Believe in Him alone for our salvation - not our own goodness, not our works, not our religion - just Jesus.

"Goodwill to Men, Peace on Earth..."
This is Christ - this is NOT us or what we do.

We are NOT peace and goodwill. 
We ARE war, murder, lust, hatred - we are thieves.
We are lost, and yet the weary world rejoices.

This season, we are all the "wise men" bowing low at His feet with our goodwill and our "gifts" for Him.  We want to stay here, in this place of worship at the manger, but we can't because HE DIDN'T.  

We all must decide what to do with this Baby.  As we pack away the decorations, how often do we tuck Him back into His manger, or pin Him back up on that cross - or worse yet - we stuff Him into that grave and we leave Him there.  In our own inability to accept Him as He is, we put Him ANYWHERE but where He IS... 

On His Throne as the Risen Savior, 
holding back the day when He will judge our righteousness 
by our own merit or by His.  

You see, He is not a baby anymore.  

And no matter what you do with Him or who you say He is, He will keep being God.  He is eternal.  Everlasting.  Unchanging.  And He is not dead.  

Jesus is alive.  And we have been Redeemed.  And His Peace on Earth is coming.  Are you ready?  If you aren't ready, GET ready.  
"You must be born again." 

Just two verses past the infamous John 3:16, we hear the rest of the story:

"And this is the judgement:  the Light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed."

"The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness..." Acts 17:30

Because this Christmas carol, the one we all sing 
that asks us to prepare Him room....

"Joy to the world, the Lord has come.  
Let Earth receive her King!"

That hymn was NOT written about Christmas...
it was written to herald the second coming of Christ.  

Because that baby?  
He's coming back.

And "he is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, 
and his name is the Word of God." -Rev 19:13

Let every heart prepare Him room, 
Let Heaven and Nature Sing.

Merry Christmas