Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Grace upon Grace
The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed, “This was the One of whom I said, ‘The One coming after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me.’ ”) 16 Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness, (HCSB)
The words of John 1:14 are overwhelming.
The news is tremendous. Here is the Glory of God, the Shekinah Glory of the presence of the Lord, here in human flesh.
Here was the shatteringly new thing--that God could and would become a human person, that God could enter into this life that we live, that eternity could appear in time, that somehow the Creator could appear in creation in such a way that men's eyes could actually see him.
So staggeringly new was this conception of God in a human form that it is not surprising that there were some even in the church who could not believe it. What John says is that the word became sarx. Now sarx is the very word Paul uses over and over again to describe what he called the flesh, human nature in all its weakness. The very thought of taking this word and applying it to God, was something that their minds staggered at.
Yet there is more.. for this passage goes on to tell us that He brings us grace.. and not just grace.. more and more grace...
Martin Luther said of this grace...“If any one is to obtain grace, His fulness must do it: our crumbs and morsels, our tiny drops and bits, they verily will not do it. All, whether Jews or Gentiles, if indeed they would obtain grace and be really found before God, are required (and indeed they can do no other) to fill their little flasks from this well--a well which flows and overflows for ever and ever; they must drink their fill from this fountain-head of living water, springing up into eternal life. In short, His fulness is without measure or end; therefore draw manfully and without fear, and drink with pleasure and joy! For here is overflowingly enough, even into eternal Life; in this you will have enough to praise and thank God for to all eternity.”
What do you need for Christmas?
Immediately we think of the things we could buy that would somehow meet our cravings for stuff.
And then the divorcee or widow thinks of that which she might never have .. the love of someone close… the man thinks of that which he has really desired but never achieved, the love and respect of his father.. the person who has through his own foolishness lost his family may think of that which he needs most.. even his own self respect, for he hates to see his face in the mirror.. there are so many deeper unspoken needs that grip the human heart. Perhaps one may feel her need of peace in a very unhappy household.. another the need of gentleness and communication from an isolated spouse… another feels the need of that smallest piece of respect from another…
What are your needs this Christmas? What are the needs of your neighbor?
For some of us our greatest need may be forgiveness.. from a spouse.. a family member… a friend… For others the greatest need this Christmas may be the need of security.. that it will all end well in the end.. others of us need a good conscience… others of us need …
Will those deep personal needs ever be met?
These few verses from John’s gospel could never be completely mined for all the riches that there in them. But what ever your need is today, this week, this Christmas… these verses have your answer to your deepest needs.
Fullness is Found In Jesus
Fullness is Available in Jesus
Fullness Abounds in Jesus
What did you get for Christmas? Everything!!
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Francis Drake’s Prayer
Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.