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Weekly Message 12-20-09: Sunday Of The Forefathers -- Life In Him

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Life In Him

Life itself was in him and apart from him nothing came to be
John 1: 4.

Whether believer or not, every human being finally has to say that the enduring relevance of Jesus is based on his historically proven ability to speak to, to heal, to save and empower the individual human condition. He matters because of what He brought and what He sill brings to ordinary human beings, living their ordinary lives and coping daily with their surroundings. He promises wholeness, totality and completion for human life, in the same way man was originally created. In sharing our weakness He gives us the strength and imparts through his companionship a life that has the sure quality of eternity.

He comes where we are and He brings us the life we hunger for because after originally possessing it, we lost it in rebellious sin. In spite of ourselves there still remains a faint taste and yearning for it. To be the Light of Life and to deliver God's life to mankind where they are and as they are is the secret of the enduring relevance of Jesus Christ. Having encountered us, He transforms and elevates us to his status in the sight of the Eternal Father. Suddenly, then, man flies right in a world that makes sense.

He was in the world and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not John 1: 10. When our heavenly Father insists that Christ was in the world and that it neither recognized nor knew him, He is not referring to the created clouds and hills and rocks and rivers. He is speaking of the human heart and soul, the world of mankind and it was this organized world of man that knew him not.

The Evangelist and Theologian testifies that God's Word, his only-begotten Son became flesh and dwelled among us. What was He doing in our kind of world, in our kind of fallen, even depraved society?

Before the Incarnation, He was the all-permeating Word of God moving creatively in his universe. When Jesus Christ became man, God incarnate in a human body, He did not cease to be the all-permeating Word of God. To this very day, the all-permeating Word still fills the universe and moves among us.

How few there are who recognize his presence, who realize they have him alone to deal with. He is still the Light of the world. It is He who alone enlightens every man who comes into the world. After his ascension from Olivet's mount, He still remains the all-pervasive, vitalizing, life-imparting Word operative in the universe.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us and we have seen his glory; the glory of the only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring love John 1: 14. Through the stunning mystery of the Incarnation, this same Jesus is present to those caught in the mid­life crisis, to those suffering debilitating illness or addiction, to those in the dark woods of depression, despair, and overwhelming fear. With a compassion that knows no boundary or breaking point, He startles those caught up in the love of pleasure, trapped by fierce pride, or consumed by ravenous greed with a flash of insight, suddenly revealing that their lives are senseless, a chaotic blur or misdirected energies and flawed thoughts.

The Saviour whose birth we so eagerly anticipate, sets us free from fear of the Father and abject dislike of ourselves and dissatisfaction with ourselves, stirs the defeated through the painful discovery that our efforts to extricate ourselves by ourselves from the shambles of our lives are self-contradictory, because the source of the shambles is our imperious ego, self­destructive to the end. Huffing and puffing, scrambling for brownie points and thrashing about trying to fix ourselves is an exercise in futility. Jesus alone can save us from ourselves and waits and sends a disciple to the weary soul in order to reveal the staggering meaning of freely proffered grace.

I and the Father are one John 10: 30. Jesus Christ is the only proof we have of the living and loving God. We only know God through Jesus Christ. Without his mediation, there is no communication with the Creator and Redeemer. But through Jesus Christ we know God. All who claim to know God and to prove his existence without Jesus Christ have done so in futility and ineffectively. But to prove Christ we have the prophecies which are reliable and palpable proofs and which being fulfilled and shown to be true by events, show that these truths are certain. Lives of men around us in which Christ is permitted entry provide without end, the reason for our devotion. We see about us the working loving hand of God. In him and through him we know God. Apart from him and without his revelation to us in Scripture, without the testimony of his Body, the Church, his beloved bride, the necessary Mediator who was promised and comes among us again in a few days, it is impossible to prove absolutely that we have a God or teach sound doctrine and sound morality because we but echo and mirror his example. Through and in Jesus Christ we can accept the existence of our God and then repeat what He first made known to us. Christ is not only the true God of mankind, but alone the faithful and inspiring Teacher of truth without parallel.

Rather he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being horn in the likeness of men Philippians 2: 7. Why then did He not appear by means of some nobler or dramatic parts of creation, and use some seemingly nobler instruments, as the sun, moon stars or fire, instead of merely man? But the Lord did not come to make display, but simply to heal and restore and teach those who were suffering in separation and isolation from their own doing. Nothing in God's creation had gone astray with regards to their notions of God save man alone and the adverse influence of negative nature man's sin inflicted on the world.

With sound reason then, since it were unworthy of the Divine Goodness to overlook so grave a matter while yet man was not able to recognize him as ordering and guiding the whole, He takes to himself as an instrument a part of the whole, the human body, and unites himself with it in order that since man could not recognize him in his very nature as a pure Spirit, they should not fail to know him in part and since they could not look up to know him in part, they could not look up to his invisible power, and thus be able at any rate, from what resembled themselves, to reason to him and contemplate him.

For in him dwell all the fullness of the Godhead bodily Colossians 2: 9. The second greatest astounding wonderful miracle, next to Christ, is what happens to a person who comes to know Christ personally. When our lives are committed to him and we invite him to live in us, our days are filled with an astounding succession of surprises for the soul and mind. He is God of all life, has unlimited power and arranges events and circumstances to bless us in myriad ways. Our only task is to surrender our needs to him, remain faithful to him in blessed faith response and leave the results to him.

Christ would never come to use the word, "miracle" because He simply talked about the "works of God." Wherever He went He did works which defied both the expected and the anticipated. The reason was that He is the power of God, the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

This glorious s feast day encourages us to see all in Christ as absolutely possible. We are called upon to persist in prayer, to deny the so-called impossible. We are to couple ourselves up with his grace; cooperate with it and live it. We are reminded by the grace of the coming feast to never give up. Regardless of the cost, we make our way to the Master. We speak to him seriously of our need and leave it up to him and his better judgment. Even greater than the miracle we sometimes seek is the miracle we can become by seeking after him, touching him, experiencing his matchless love for faith does not, in the realist, spring from miracles, but miracles from faith!

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