Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 15: Luke 1-2


You would think that the moment that changed all of history would be more . . . well, glamorous. You'd expect it to take place at the center of all that was happening in the world, on a grand stage, with everything in lights. Surely, there would be a big proclamation, something that would grab everyone's attention. Instead, this world changing event took place in relative quiet, almost a footnote to everything that was going on. In fact, if you weren't one of the few looking for it or the others who got a special notice from God, you wouldn't have even known that it took place.

God had done the impossible. He had come as a man. His created children have run from Him. He has chosen to pursue them; He loves them too much to allow them to run forever. To pursue them, He has become one of them.

The entire Old Testament has been pointing to the day that the Savior would come. Everything is pointing to a Savior who will come and redeem us from slavery to sin. In the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, God has given His last words for 400 years. In effect, He is saying, "You have everything you need to know. Now watch and wait for it to take place." The last prophecies He gives about the coming Savior are in Malachi 3:1 and 4:5-6. The say that there will be a messenger who will come first, in the spirit of Elijah (one of the Old Testament prophets who was taken up in a chariot of fire to be with the Lord - 2 Kings 2). He will prepare the way, then suddenly, the Lord will come to the temple.

There is an abruptness to the things that take place. God is saying nothing, then suddenly, He's at work. He is and always has been in control of all that is happening. To send the prophet that was to prepare the way, God chooses a barren woman. He opens her womb and gives her a child, John, who will go in the spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the way (1:17).

Then, as if that wasn't enough, God chooses a virgin to bear the Savior. She becomes pregnant with the Son of God through the power of the Spirit. Instead of honor and praise, she will be the object of shame and ridicule. Jesus doesn't appear to be the Son of God. He appears to be a bastard, the product of sin and the object of shame.

All of this is taking place in the backwoods of everyday life. The average person would know nothing about it. The Jews were unaware that the object of all their hopes and dreams was coming. it was all so average, so humble, so unworthy of God.

It seems as if God can't keep totally silent though. When something incredible happens, you've got to tell someone, right? So God lets a few people in on the secret. He goes to the humble, marginalized ones. We would have chosen the kings, the governors, the important people. God chose the ones who had nothing to offer. He goes to shepherds, an old man, and a forgotten woman. Each of them was able to see the object of all their hopes and dreams . . . a baby.

A baby. There could hardly been a less-likely appearance of God on the earth. Such a fragile, helpless beginning for a Savior. In a backwater town, in a dingy stable, wrapped in rags, lay the hope of the world. The one who would redeem God's people and restore His world. The power of God present in the most unlikely form.

He still works that way today. God delights in the impossible. He loves to move in the unnoticed and overlooked. He loves to come to the humble and forgotten. Most of all, He delights to work in the impossible. The thing in your life that "can't be of God" may be the very avenue where He chooses to reveal His power. After all, that's how Jesus came.

For nothing is impossible with God.

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