Monday, December 24, 2012
"This Unlikely Christ"
The fact of God's presence is often in direct proportion to the appearance of His absence."He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him" (Isaiah 53:2).
One might expect the entrance of God into the world to be accompanied by the fanfare, pomp and circumstance befitting the King of the universe. Instead, the Lord Jesus Christ arrived in the quiet meekness of "a still, small voice" (I Kings 19:12). He would live in such unobtrusive and unassuming manner that after the beginning of His ministry and miracles, "neither did His brethren believe in Him" (John 7:5). He would die on a cross reserved for the wicked and condemned. He arose from death by a resurrection that no human eye directly witnessed, and which remained unobserved by the masses. He ascended to Heaven, again with few witnesses, and with no great earthly ceremony. He remains unseen and unheard by human eye or ear after 2,000 years, purposing to be known rather in the hearts of those who discover the unlikely way of the seemingly unlikely Christ.
We must expect in our lives this unlikely way, this unlikely Christ. His hand will be most active when it seems most stilled. His abundance will flow where riverbeds appear dry and parched. His light will shine most brightly in darkness. His seeming absence will herald His most imminent presence, and when it seems we most require a conquering general, an apparently helpless baby will lie in some manger of our particular circumstance and venue. Indeed, "a virgin shall conceive" in our lives no less than did Mary 2,000 years ago, as God brings forth His Son from whence it seems He could not come (Isaiah 7:14).
Perhaps just now, the unlikely Christ graces us with opportunity to know Him as He presently must be known. Surely He does, in some fashion, in some way, in some manger. Where it seems He could not be, we must believe He is there. Christmas tells us nothing if it does not proclaim this glory of the unlikely. May our Heavenly Father grant much grace of remembrance whereby His light leads us to most discover the fact of God's presence in venues where He most appears to be absent.
"This shall be a sign unto you. Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
"Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?"
"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it."