Forest Lake Talks

Christmas Day Devotional

December 25, 2019

Scripture: Hebrews 1:1-4

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Scripture tells us about a God who is beyond our imagining or comprehension who is the source and goal of all that exists.  We know that this God spoke and worked in the lives of the humans God created from the very beginning of time, and that through God’s chosen people, the Jews, God’s purpose for the world was clear.  They were blessed by God so that they would be a blessing to the whole world (Genesis 12:1-3).  And through the prophets of Israel, God continued to speak clearly and to invest in humankind and to be an active participant in human history. The writer of Hebrews acknowledges this vast and cosmic sized God, and then he makes the claim that is either ultimate truth or ridiculous illusion.  God came to earth in the form of a human baby.  And in some way, that we cannot fully explain or comprehend, Christ is the “exact imprint of God’s very being.”  There are three world religions who know of Abraham and the prophets.  There are three world religions who all acknowledge one God, Creator of the earth and Ruler of the Universe.  But Christianity alone has the audacity to claim that God came to earth in human form.

Some would say that this is ridiculous.  Some would say that is scandalous.  Some would say that this means we believe in multiple gods.  Some would say that the incarnation of God is laughable.  God come to earth as a human baby is a scandal! Because if this is the kind of God we worship, then that changes how we see and understand everything.  If Jesus is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), then it forces us to rethink all we know about God.

If Jesus is God, then human nature is valuable and precious and important.  If Jesus is God, then we can never again treat another human being with disregard or contempt, because God has let us know how very much all of God’s children are loved, and has taught us to see the image of Christ in every single human being. In becoming human, God has dignified all humanity.

If Jesus is God, then God really is known in relationship.  The Christian doctrine of the Trinity means that there is a relationship at the very heart of God.  The nature of God is relationship:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  God is more of a verb than a passive noun.  So, instead of requiring us to assent to a fixed list of theological beliefs, God has come to earth to show us how to treat each other, what to value and how to act.

This morning, we remember and we rejoice in the scandal of the universe!  The same God who has been involved since the beginning of time, and the same God who has spoken to people of all kinds and religions throughout the ages, that God has come to earth in human form.  Our lives cannot be the same when we acknowledge this amazing, scandalous, too-good-to-be-true news.

But then, isn’t that what the angels told us?  “I bring you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:1—11)

Merry, Merry Christmas to you all!

Submitted by: Ellen F. Skidmore

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