Enjoying pictures from this past weekend along with Christmas contemplations. . .
Over two thousand years ago, the world hit an identity crisis.
The Roman Empire just kept growing bigger and bigger.
Europe, then Asia, then Africa were being sucked into its dominion.
Not even the blessed people of Israel could escape its grasp.
All of the conquered cultures melted under the power of the new rulers.
Yet Israel held out hope of deliverance.
They thought that surely this time would be right, surely the evil too great to last.
They awaited a Savior, promised hundreds of years ago, who would strike down their foreign foes.
They awaited a rescue mission.
Meanwhile, their God, the God of the whole universe, had a plan.
And nobody saw it coming.
That great invasion came in the form of a baby.
A young woman and a young man were recruited as this baby's parents.
Crazy as it was, they believed in God.
They believed He was sending help—coming personally.
But Israel's idea of rescue and their Lord Jesus' idea of rescue were two very different things.
They wanted a King to restore their nation.
And Jesus? He came to restore their lives.
He didn't even stop there—He came to restore anyone and everyone.
This incarnate God hadn't come to beat down Rome.
There was a bigger battle at play–one that had been present since the garden.
A heavenly servant had rejected God, inevitably falling to the lowest of places.
He had forgotten his mission was to glorify God, and he had turned instead to glorifying himself.
The only thing he could pursue now was bringing others to his debased state, so he insinuated self-glorification into the very beautiful world God had created.
And the world listened.
So here were cities and countries and continents full of people whose mission had gone amiss. No one could escape this new evil—sin blew around like dust, covering even those who stood upright.
But God so loved His world that He came, a little baby Jesus, to remind His people who they were.
He offered to clean them of the sin and redirect their mission.
He wanted to bring them back to Himself, back to being His children on a journey to a good eternity.
Some people would call Him crazy.
Some would say He was flat-out lying.
Others would believe parts of His story, but tell Him to keep quiet. They thought He was on a secret mission; that He was supposed to reach only selected people and stay safe in the meantime.
But this was no secret. He had come to reach every human being in the whole world.
As far as safety goes, that wasn't in the plan either.
The story of the baby and how He grew up continues.
This is really just part one of the mission. Rescuing takes time.
We'll reflect more on that rescuing when Easter arrives.
But for now, we can marvel at the arrival. The brilliant entry of God into the world of man.