Merry Christmas! Here’s something for you to think about today.
Millions still recite The Lord’s Prayer every week. Entire congregations say it in unison. Little children mouth the words along with crusty old men. Cool teenagers, corporate executives, and little dainty old ladies blend their voices together…
“Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
Beyond the walls of a church (and, sadly often inside them) – friction and fighting. A world where corporate greed knows no limits. Where selfishness drives people to commit extreme acts. A world that thirsts for more pornography and dabbles in violence online. Where people secretly live online, polluting their minds with misogynistic, racist, supremacist ideas and other deviant and vile thought-patterns. A world where people drive exotic cars and indulge themselves in every kind of luxury, while others live in dire poverty and die from hunger. A society where every form of excess and abuse is played out behind the curtains of civility.
This world. This earth. How does this picture fit with the frequently recited prayer: “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven?” What on earth is going on? Surely this must not be the way it is in Heaven!
Many years ago, beneath the starry skies of Bethlehem, a miracle took place – a virgin gave birth to a son. It was no ordinary birth. Shepherds nearby were startled when an angel announced the birth of the Saviour, Christ the Lord. Attentively they listened as the angel told them:
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. Luke 2:12
Heaven on earth!
The amazing story of the Infinite God of the universe stepping into a finite body of flesh and blood to live with us for 33 years is cherished by Christians all over the world. He walked to the beat of a different drummer. He kept step with Heaven’s beat. He mended broken homes. He fed the hungry. He gave sight to the blind. He touched the untouchables of society. He showed kindness to the outcasts and spoke words of comfort to aching hearts.
Everywhere He went, He left behind Him a trail of happiness and blessing. He never tired of doing good. Instead of pride and greed, He displayed humility and generosity. He showed no favouritism because all were His favourites. He loved everyone. He silenced the wind and calmed the waves. He brought peace to the stormy lives of troubled people.
For once, yes, for once we saw heaven on earth.
How can we explain that this very Person ended up nailed to a cross? He hung naked in shame and in intense pain. Look at His back – the torn flesh bleeding from the brutal whipping. His beard was torn off. His cheek and His face were bruised from the pounding of fists. Long thorns, twisted together in the shape of a crown, were beaten into his head. The repeated spittings of men stained His lovely face.
Who committed this atrocious crime – aliens or extra-terrestrial beings? Is it possible that humans committed this cruelty and brutal murder? Yes, humans just like you and me. When God’s will was done on earth the way it is done in Heaven, it was too much for us. The bright light of heaven exposed our dark hearts of sin. Thirty-three and a half years were long enough!
The good news is – God did not abandon us because of the brutality we showed to His Son. In fact, He used the death of His Son to swing-open to us the gates of Heaven. The precious blood that flowed from the wounds we inflicted became the cleansing agent for our sins.
The Bible tells us: “Christ died for our sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:3. And, “the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” 1John 1:7
As you celebrate His birth, my Christmas prayer for you is that you will appreciate the reason He came to Earth. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 1Timothy 1:15 Let us bow and adore and worship Him today.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
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