Friday, December 5, 2008

MOPS: The Adventure of Knowing Christ

Christmas is known as the season of goodwill on earth. During this sacred window we are inclined to reach a little deeper into our wallets; we take a moment to be considerate of others in our path each day; and we thank the Lord for our blessings. We reach out to the poor, the homeless, and the otherwise disadvantaged in ways that we don't think to do during other times of the year.

While all humanity is indeed desperately in need of relief from hunger, disease, loneliness and more, the truth is that everything you and I do to help is meaningless without an additional piece. The love we share when we reach out to others is just a symbol of the love God showed for us when he sent Jesus to earth as a humble human baby.

Jesus, miraculously both fully God and fully human, grew up to become the ultimate sacrifice of love that would truly relieve the separation we all have from God, who is the source of life. He addressed hunger by becoming living water (John 4:10) and the bread of life (John 6:35). He cured disease by defeating death itself (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). And his death on the cross brought us out of loneliness into relationship with God (2 Corinthians 5:18).

In this season of goodwill, let us remember that the goodwill we cherish is not of each person to another. That kind of goodwill is a wonderful thing, and God does use our actions to bless others. But it is not the meaning of Christmas. When the angels were there with the shepherds in the sky over Bethlehem, they sang of "Peace, goodwill toward men" as a message from God Himself to people everywhere (Luke 2:14).

The eternal God, existing outside of time; the powerful God, creator of our world and everything in it; almighty God Himself has goodwill toward degenerate humans in all of their sickness, hunger, and depraved ways!

May this same God bless you richly this Christmas season as you meditate on the ultimate gift, in which God became a lowly human of the humblest of origins, in order to show His goodwill to all of humanity. He made himself nothing (Philippians 2:7), so we could have the chance to be raised above the brokenness of our nature, and someday sit in the heights of heaven with him!

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Ephesians 3:18

This post was first published in our MOPS newsletter for December 4. Enjoy!

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