Merry Christmas! I am really forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. These are such high and holy times in the Christian year. I love the celebration and fun this season brings. But I’m also reminded of the great challenge that comes through the message of Christmas. I want you to read this recent post from pastor Mike Slaughter of Ginghamsburg UMC.
“All who are thirsty should come to me! All who believe in me should drink! As the scriptures said concerning me, ‘Rivers of living water will flow out from within him.’” (John 7:37-39 CEB)
Sometimes I believe we confuse the second coming of Christ with the first. We jump right to the book of Revelation to see Christ return as the victorious king, judging the world and establishing a new heaven on earth. We forget that we are still living in the reality of the first coming, when God’s son came to Planet Earth, not as victor, but as victim. He came as a baby thrust into the experience of the oppressed refugees of the world. And, as Savior and suffering servant, Jesus continues to show up in the world’s places of pain. We have a God who identifies with the slave chained in the hold of a ship, the Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz, the sick child shivering with malaria in South Sudan, and the soaked Syrian refugee family anxiously clinging to rescuers as they clamber out of a collapsing boat along Greece’s shoreline.
In light of all of the atrocities going on in the world around us, many of us ask ourselves, “Where is God?” We often say, “Somebody ought to do something about that.” Well, let me tell you – God has come down to do something about it, and you are the somebody he is going to do it through! Jesus said, “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21 CEB).
You may be thinking, “God surely doesn’t mean ‘me.’ What could I do? It would only be a drop in the bucket at best.” That’s another great strategy on the part of darkness. Evil will always try to convince us that we are powerless, that we can’t change anything. But Jesus says, we have full access to the unlimited resources of God, to “rivers of living water.” As Jesus followers, “can’t” shouldn’t be allowed in our vocabulary.
You have heard it said that the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing. It’s true. We have been the recipients of God’s scandalous love; now, go and actively live it out on behalf of others.
Thanks, Mike, for the reminder that God is with us in the mess of this world! He will also be with us in whatever we may face as well. So, go “do something” by sharing good news of God’s scandalous love by shining the light of Jesus Christ to others this week and always! We’ll see you on Christmas Eve at either 5 or 6:30 pm. Remember this Sunday we’ll have one family-friendly service at 10:30 am. Have a very Merry Christmas!