Monday, December 3, 2012

Who Do You Worship During Christmas?

It's Christmas season and those who still remember what Christmas is about are teaching everyone about baby Jesus. The only thing is, we need to make sure we are not worshipping baby Jesus. We like to be sentimental about the circumstances of Jesus' birth and we like to think of that little baby, watched over by his loving parents. We will attend plays about this birth. We will create manger scenes. Children will colour pictures of it. People will attend church for their annual visit and they will hear about the baby again. But we don't worship a baby. Jesus is not a baby. We need to remind ourselves who Jesus is this Christmas.

Over the next few days I am going to use Colossians  to remind us of who Jesus is, of his supremacy over all creation and I am going to do it in bite sized morsels. Smaller bite sizes are better for digestion. Let's start off with this:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Colossians 1:15)

If you want to know who God is look to Jesus. God took on physical shape and revealed his heart to us. He demonstrated his compassion, mercy and grace while being one of us. He lived and demonstrated how we are to live, under the control of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit came on Jesus at the baptism, it wasn't symbolic,  it was necessary. Jesus had set aside his divine nature to become one of us so he needed the Spirit to do what would follow in his three years of ministry. This is the same life he has called us into and he has filled us with the same Spirit.

Jesus came as a seed. He had to be first so we could follow. He was creating something new so that we could become a new creation. When Jesus came as one of us, everything was changed forever. There would be no going back to what he was. He has been changed for all eternity.

When Jesus was raised from the grave it was as a new creation. Something like that had never existed before. Even now he sits at the right hand of the Father in a resurrected body, which he did not have before. He sits there representing us and what we will be. He is the first born of this new creation and because he was born this way the rest of us can follow.

We have to learn from Jesus what it is to live in this place, under the restrictions of this body but filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.We have to look to Jesus' example and understand that he spent three years setting an example for us. If you want to know how to live a life that glorifies God look to how Jesus lived, under the control of the Holy Spirit.

We also get our hope from him. If you want to know what is in store for us, look to see what happened at the resurrection. Understand that our bodies are the last thing to be redeemed. Our minds and hearts have already been redeemed and on the day we are called home our bodies will be redeemed as well. No more illness, weakness or suffering. The work of redemption will be made complete, all because Jesus went first.

This is who we are celebrating this Christmas. We do not worship a baby in a manger but instead the first born of all creation, the risen Lord, Christ Jesus. To him I bow my knee. To him I pour out my adoration. To him I sing songs of thanksgiving. Come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord! And let us give him all the glory.

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