Hi everyone. Rob here.
One thing that’s become very clear to me this year is the importance of each person’s story, including our own. God reveals himself through narrative; in the stories of nations, communities, churches, families and individuals, God is made known. The Bible itself is a collection of stories that together reveal the story of God and his kingdom and his people. God continues to write his story through the stories of our lives.
That God is thoroughly invested in the stories of our lives is revealed in this verse:
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14)
God didn’t just decide to observe our lives and occasionally intervene with a miracle or two to remind everyone he still existed. No. he decided to enter into the human condition, to live out a human story of his own and, through that story, redeem the story that humanity was writing for itself. It is the greatest event in history. It’s why Christmas matters so much.
The Son of God came as the Son of Man; that is the new human and the true human (thanks to the late Stanley Grenz for this phrase). He rewrites the human story after the sin of the first humans had left us without a plot worth pursuing. Mary’s obedience acts as a counterpoint to Eve’s disobedience. Jesus then acts as the new Adam. Under Adam the land was cursed and subject to decay including the human body. We also ceded our authority to Satan. Jesus comes and reclaims human authority over Satan and over the earth. He brings healing to broken bodies, abundance where there was scarcity, mercy where there was vengeance, grace where there was law, love where there was hatred and joy where there was despair. He shows us a new way of being human: deeply connected to the Father, to creation and to each other. He shows us how to overcome evil and exhorts us to give our whole hearts over to God, knowing that by doing so we will be set free to live in him, by God’s Spirit for the glory of God’s kingdom.
God always had epic plans for humanity that involved ruling in his creation and leading a life of love, peace and joy. This Advent may we take him up on his offer of life in all its fullness. May we hand our heart over to his and enjoy the freedom that comes from living a Spirit-led life. May we love each other well even as we take our place as beloved sons and daughters of the Father and intimate allies of the King. May we know that God has said YES to humanity and the proof is Jesus – the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us.
Grace and peace everyone.