Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ADVENT Dec. 19

Read Genesis 32:22-32  Key verse:  "It is because I saw God face to face and He has spared my life." (vs. 30b)

How can this be?

We have seen the answer to Mary's question in the love of God, the power of God, the activity of God, and the life of God.  Now we find the answer in the person of God.   Even before God came to earth in His Son, He was(and always has been) personal.  A good argument for the existence of a personal God is that we are personal(created in His image).  How could the impersonal create the personal?   Personal ones love relationships with others like themselves.  God has lived in a great three way relationship within the Trinity since all eternity.  In creating us He desired to develop new relationships.  In a relationship one wants to identify with the other.  That is what happened when the Son of God came to earth.   This personal God became human so that he could experience our existence and take our place in death.

God made several pre-incarnational visits to earth before that first Christmas.  One of those trips was to Jacob.  It was not a fun visit for Jacob although it ended up great.  He was afraid for his life as he was about to have an encounter with his twin bother, Esau whom he had cheated years ago.   On the night before the encounter Jacob wrestled with a man all night.  That man turned out to be the LORD.  Jacob was blessed but he also was crippled.  His weakness became the LORD's strength.   When Jacob was willing to stop trying to control things and give them to God, he discovered the liberating blessing of the LORD.   In meeting God face to face, Jacob had found that real life comes from knowing the LORD(Jn. 17:3).  

Mary's surrender to the LORD (Lk. 1:38) led to the ultimate personal visit from God.   "The Word became flesh and pitched His tent with us.  And we have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only...who explained God."(Jn. 1:14,18)   The miracle of Christmas is that the Eternal God became a little baby.  Forget the halo in the paintings, He was human in every way.  Because He experienced humanity (yet without sin) we can have a relationship with Him.  Like Jacob, we can see Him face to face and live.  Sometimes it takes a wrestling match to really see Him, but when we surrender to Him and quit striving, the blessings of a wonderful relationship fall upon us.

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