“Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”Dylan Thomas
Are we willing to live with such reckless abandonment that we will rage against the dying light of life in so many around us?
In order for Christmas to be real today, we must be willing to live it out tomorrow.
God with us means that because we are now with God we can indeed become peace and good tidings for the sake of the world. Sure we can do things, but if we want to be love and be peace, then we must be in Christ because apart from Jesus we can do nothing good (John 15). Immanuel means that while Christ calls me to seek the lost and love the other, He does not expect me to do this alone. Each of us is surrounded by our brothers and sisters – the church – and sealed and empowered through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
We are entering into a time of the year when we stop and actually recognize that God made a point to be with us. And God with us (Immanuel) means that life is more than an attempt to be good.
The Christian faith is more than behavior modification. It is not about trying to be good. That is, faith is not primarily about rules and principles. Rather, it is about how the self must be transformed to see the world truthfully – through the eyes of Christ.
The drama of salvation is not about how good we can be, or what we can do for Jesus, or what He can do for us. So often we live a Christ-less life because we are centered on self as opposed to our Savior. The message of Christmas is simple: MORE CHRIST. Life is Christ-Mas not Christ-less.
Wrestling and athletics are all about discipline – at least if you want to be a champion. It is about training harder than anyone else. To be the best you have to be willing to go where no one else has gone. Too often this is how people view heaven. That is, in order to get to heaven you have to be better than most people. You have to perform so many good deeds, to be disciplined in your living, to strive to be a good person. Crazy thing is, this is not what faith is about at all.
Faith means to allow God to be God. That is, to believe in this God who came to us – the one who became human so as to shower us in His love. God’s reconciliatory performance is something that can only be accepted and pondered in a faith that precedes all personal initiative. Following Christ, which has become possible through His self-surrender, will not consist in doing some right thing but in fundamentally surrendering everything, and surrendering it to the God who has totally emptied Himself for the sake of the world.
Are you willing to step into the beauty of Christ-mas this year? Are you willing to surrender everything to the One who has already done so for you?
The beautiful paradox of our life in Christ…to live Christmas every day is to become empty. For in emptying yourself you become full. Amen Jesus!