Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Impossible Night

New post up at Galya's Tale.

And, for your post-Christmas musings, this is a devotional I gave at church at our Christmas Eve service with a few edits for the blog format.

We hear so often about how Christmas is a silent night, a holy night. I'd like to add another adjective to our thinking of Christmas: impossible night. We have a God who is so big that he plays in the realm of the impossible.

We see this when He demands of us the impossible. Jesus told people to "go and sin no more." (Jn. 5:14, 8:11) Not, go and sin less. Sin no more. Impossible. "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church." (Eph. 5:25) "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matt. 5:48) God asks of us the impossible, we fail, we sin - we separate from God because we can't do the impossible.

But God can. All things, it says in Matthew 19 when speaking of salvation (something impossible for us to achieve on our own), are possible with God.

The Bible starts with this very thing: In the beginning God created. God was there when time began and created. How? By the impossible task of creation through speaking. I can't get my daughters to turn off the lights in their room with my words, but God said, "let there be light." AND THERE WAS LIGHT! Not just a 50w bulb here; there was LIGHT. From His voice! The Psalmist says God breathed out stars and gathers the waters of the seas into jars. (Ps. 33:6-7) And this is just the start. God is so big he deals in the realm of the impossible.

And so it's no surprise that Christmas is an impossible night. Let's turn to John 1, starting in verse 10:

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Impossibly, God the creator entered into His creation at Christmas (well, technically, at Jesus' conception.) The world was made through him (Jesus), and He became flesh and made his dwelling among us. As our pastor, Jason, reminded us this morning [12/20 sermon], God did not just drop in for a visit. He was born into our world. He became one of us. God became a man: impossible. He was born to a virgin. Impossible. He came that we might be saved. Impossible.

Impossible for man, but with God all things are possible. Angels appeared to shepherds. Angels appeared to Mary & Joseph. Sages from far away read Jesus' birth in the stars. The creator God of the universe who is big enough to breathe out stars became a baby, wrapped in laid in the humblest of mangers. Proclaimed by angels, worshipped by shepherds and foreigners - Jesus entered His creation, became Immanuel: God with us. He made it possible for us to become born again, something which again is impossible - without God. A little baby displayed the glory of God. The smallest of infants demonstrated, through His impossible birth and through the bigness of who this baby was, the immensity of God's grace, His mercy, His love.

This is why Christmas is a reason to worship, to celebrate, to be in awe of this GREAT BIG GOD who came for us who deals in the (what is for us) impossible in impossible ways – that’s the message of Christmas and it’s what we rejoice in at Christmas.

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