If God were to tell you something, what would He say? I think most of us think God would tell us what not to do. We think God would advise us to stop swearing, stop facebook creeping and stop watching Keeping up with the Kardashians. Some of us think God would tell us what to do. We picture God having some deep commanding voice belting out orders like “Read the Bible! Go to Church! Call your Grandma!” I think we think God would have a sit down with us and give us a run through of everything about our lives that is in disarray: “Kid, you need to clean your room and stop making promises you can’t keep. You need to wash your mouth out with soap, stop your bad habits and salivating over what other people have. You need to give more money away to the poor and start liking that catty witch that lives next door.” We picture God, if He ever was to take the time to say something to us, it would be a quick talkin’ to about His eternal dissatisfaction with who we are and then He would move right on to the next guy.
The Bible summarizes Christmas or shall we say, Jesus’ birth, this way:
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning… The Word became flesh and made His dwelling amongst us. John 1
The Word here in Greek is logos. The Bible Readers Companion says the Word is “The living expression of all that God has ever sought to communicate about Himself.” Jesus is everything God ever wanted to say to us. Jesus is God’s Words, His expression, and message. That’s what Mary gave birth to- the full expression of who God is. God showed up on the scene to fully express to people His message. He had words to say. He had thoughts to share. He desired to say something and did so in the way of being with us. Man… this is a God who must really want to be known by us.
It’s like this: Jesus is God standing on a street corner holding a little Caesars sign playing it like a guitar. Jesus is God flying a blimp in the air with a message on it. Jesus is God raising His hand because it is His turn to say something. Jesus is God writing a letter to the one who is on His mind. Jesus is He who is said to be the Alpha and the Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. It is Him in letters, that write words, whose life is a message from God Himself. When we look at Jesus, what do we hear God expressing?
When Jesus ran into the centurion who felt inadequate, I hear God saying “I see worth in you beyond your inadequacy.”
When Jesus ran into the demon possessed guy who was self destructing and isolated, I hear God express “I want for you life.”
When Jesus ran into the men on the road to Emmaus who were bummed, I hear God say “I am with you in your disappointment.”
When Jesus runs into Peter who betrayed him, I hear God say “I love you and I don’t want anything to get in the way of our relationship.”
Who God expressed Himself as to these people, He also is, to you and I.
Do you need to hear God sees in you worth?
And He does.
Do you need to hear God say He wants for you life in the places that feel so dead?
And He does.
Do you need to know God is with you in your deep grief and disappointment?
And He is.
The message we hear about God as we look at the life of Jesus is for you and I. What we celebrate at Christmas is God’s expression to us in the life of Jesus. So often I talk to people who are confused by Jesus. Jesus always said “Hey, if you want to know what God is like, look at me.” Jesus never told people to look at religious people or the people who claimed they had this whole God thing figured out. No, Jesus said, if you want to know what God is like look at me. I will show you. And then you see Jesus touching who no one else would. And you see Him dining with outcasts that are consistently not invited to places. And then you see Him weep. And then you hear Him call people who feel unworthy words like “daughter” and “son”. Jesus is so absolutely stunning, He puts beauty to shame. He is compassion. He is grace. He is love.
Sometimes, I sit back and like people who think Jesus is nuts, I agree – He is. It is nuts to think that God is this beautiful, this forgiving, this patient, this enduring, this willing to go the long haul with people. And then I think, that if I were molding and making up my own god, I could only dream god to be as gorgeous as Jesus. So, I think to myself, if God is like Jesus, I want more of God. And then I realize, I can have as much of God as I want. He offers all of Himself to each one of us. And this Christmas, might I remind you that every time you hear about Jesus, God is saying something to you.
Maybe you should stop and listen.
In the next few weeks, check back in as I continue to ponder this God with us. In the meantime, as you look at the life of Jesus, what words do you hear God expressing to you? I’d love to hear…..