It was a silent night. Actually, it had been many silent nights of deafening silence. God’s people, the Israelites, were under an incredible amount of oppression from the ruling Government and King. I imagine many prayers went something like this, “How long, oh, Lord? How long will we wait for your deliverance as in the days of Moses?” In the midst of the silence and oppression were the people of God filled with longing, expectation, and hope.
The promise of a King was on the horizon.
An Angel of the Lord appeared to Mary, a very poor and devout Jewish girl, and promised that she would bear God’s Son. Imagine the questions that swirled in her mind intertwined with anxiety and joy.
“Me? Bear the Son of God?”
When she lay awake at night feeling tiny kicks in her tummy, did she know she would give birth to the one who would bring deliverance to God’s people?
And somehow this son of God would also be fully human. Jesus would laugh, cry, and be angry. He would live among the poor, love on the sick and sinner, ride a donkey, fish on a boat, and forgive the sinners. Did she know that she would witness the cross, the grave, and the resurrection?
This is the story of Christmas: God became flesh, lived an earthly life, emptied himself of power, submitted his life to death on a cross, and three days later was raised from the dead.
He is alive. He is at work. He is King. He is Emmanuel, which means “God with us.”
Lately I’ve seen a lot of Facebook posts scroll through my newsfeed saying something like this, “God has been kicked out of our schools. Let’s bring back God.”
What? We kicked out God? We’ve accomplished what no other king, kingdom, war, or power has been able to do? It’s our responsibility to bring God back? Wow. Have we forgotten what really happened on the first Christmas?
Our God is an untamed LION, nothing can keep him away. No law, no institution, no legislation, no school, no senator, no human, can hold back our King.
He is in our schools. It is so arrogant to think that legislation from the top down can “usher out the presence of God.” It is crazy to think that we can somehow “usher God back into our schools. We forget that the incarnation happened during a time King Herod wanted to be the only King and wanted no part of another King taking over. We forget that Our King was put to death on a cross because the Government wanted him gone.
Not even death on a cross could keep him away.
Three days later he rose from the grave and ascended to HIS THRONE. Jesus is King.
We forget that the early church thrived under intense religious persecution. Thousands of Christians laid down their lives under rulers such as Domitian and Nero. Not even this could keep God away. In fact, I believe the lack of Christian persecution in our country has caused many of us to be lazy and weak in our faith.
Let us not be so naïve to think that our puny actions lock the Lion of Judah into a cage.
He cannot and will not be tamed.
Stay tuned for part 2.