Kingdom come is coming, in small yet invasive ways...

Follow along with us as each week we meet for service to those in our neighborhood, common meals, study of Jesus' teachings and how to live them, as well as Sabbath worship at the Buffalo Vineyard City Church .

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve - He's Coming

Growing up, my cousins would often bring along a cousin from the other side of the family to our holiday gatherings. Tony was mentally disabled, and whenever he came, he would enter the gathering and come up to each one of us and enthusiastically proclaim, "Ho Ho comin'!" He was half looking for our affirmation of this statement and half wanting to make sure no one was ignorant of this. You couldn't help but nod and assure him that Ho Ho was indeed coming.

I wonder what reaction the shepherds got as they enthusiastically went around proclaiming that the Messiah was coming.

Everyone had missed it. The very Master of the universe had come to Earth, but He came to their small village in an occupied country on the fringe of the Empire. Both the religous system and the government, symbolic leaders of God's people, had missed it. Only a couple of kids who were supposed to be out doing their chores were clued in. So they ran up to everybody making sure they knew, "Messiah coming!"

Did their hearers patronizingly nod and affirm them, not wanting to be the kill-joy that exposed the myth?

It seems that today so many still miss the Messiah each Christmas, and I'm not talking about the secularists or pluralists, but our church culture today, and a government that still clings to a Christian facade. Jesus never told us that we would find Him in elaborate buildings, decadent feasts, and holiday rituals (the prophets actually tell us God even hates those things). Instead He said we would find Him in those who are hungry, prisoners, sick, homeless.

So let's proclaim enthusiastically, "He's coming!" All who have missed Him by looking in cantatas, candles, and cookies, look over here - this is no myth! He's with those who are hungry, prisoners, sick, homeless. To all those whom our culture, including our church culture, has labeled as far from God, let's proclaim this good news, "He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty." Most people who've missed it will just smile and nod affirmingly, all the while discounting us as over optimistic idealists. But let's never stop proclaiming:

Joy to the world, the LORD is come.

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