Some Thoughts on Christmas

One of the key scripture verses we mention all the time around Encounter is Eugene Peterson's paraphrase of John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood" This verse which describes the incarnation informs so much of the vision for the type of church we want to be. I love the imagery of the verse, but more importantly, I love what it means: That God, through Jesus, displayed the ultimate act of solidarity with His creation by joining in the human condition. And that is what Christianity celebrates during this season.

Christmas is God's way of saying "you're not alone."

And whatever hope is found in the Christmas story, it is found in that truth. God didn't abandon us, instead He stepped into human history to reconcile us to Himself and fix what's broken with our world.

So whenever this season comes, what brings me hope and joy is the implications of the incarnation. My reason to celebrate is precisely the notion that if this is true, if this first century Jewish rabbi born to a couple of teenagers is really God among us, then we're gonna be ok. It might not always feel or look like it. There is still so much work to be done, so much that is still broken and in need of repair. But if the Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood, and if this Word-in-the-flesh also died on a cross for our sins and rose from the dead, then God's rescue mission, God's redeeming work has begun and it cannot be stopped. If God is "with us," if we are not alone, then we are gonna be ok.

This is what fuels our work as a church, but honestly it is also what wakes me up in the morning: hope. Hope in the God that is willing to come into the world vulnerable as a baby so that we might have life. As the carol goes "born that man no more may die." 

I hope that as you celebrate Christmas you would remember this truth. God is with us, we are not alone, we are gonna be ok.