Thursday, November 30, 2017

Heaven Came Down

I am sharing with you excepts from the book "Suffering and the Heart of God: How trauma destroys and God restores" by Diane Langberg (page 7 my highlighted sections), because this is Christmas.  This is God.  This is our call as His Church. 

What does heaven do? Heaven leaves heaven...
Heaven comes down.
The church goes into the dungeon so that the dungeon becomes the church. God came down so as to lift up.
God became like us so that we might become like Him.  He came to this dung-filled dungeon we call earth and sat with us, touched us, loved us, and called us to Him.
He also enters into the dungeons of our hearts and 
transforms them.
God is power becoming little, coming down to embrace what is alien.  There is no them; there is only us.

This is what Christmas is all about.  This is why He came.  This is why I share the following every year since I first wrote it, because I want everyone to know that He came for them.  He came for me.  He came for you.  No matter where we are, how dark, or how dirty, Christ came for us ALL!   

When You Feel Too Dirty For The Nativity To Be For You
*originally posted 12/21/13*
*Warning, there is some swearing in this post. *

Most of us have heard it, the nativity story, some of us dozens of times if not more.

The Christ child born of Mary in a stable and laid in a manger while shepherds quake and angels sing.
Mary and Joseph chosen of God to bear and raise the King of Kings.

And it was asked for me to tell which of these people in the story spoke most to me. And the truth is they didn't speak, not even a whisper. They felt too far, too distant from me and my filth. They felt too squeaky clean.

I questioned my Christianity.

How could they not even whisper?

Without this birth, this baby, there would be no Savior.

A baby born to bear my sins.

I have heard it said by others that they have done and been and seen too much for God to ever forgive them.

This Christmas story leads to the Cross.

Where sinless Jesus took on our sins, bore our burdens, so we could be free/redeemed.

The Cross to the Resurrection.

I wrote once about the thorns of sin that I knowingly and willingly walked into:

"I look at my blood stained skin, the thorns dipped in red.  Suddenly they are not just my thorns, they are Christ's.  I have crowned Him in these thorns that I willingly walked into.  He suffered, bled His own blood, skin pierced by the thorns that weren't His own.  His glory forsaken, to be crowned in my sin." 

I realized tonight that I struggle so much with relating to the people in the Christmas story, because I have felt more like the shit filled stable.  Smelly, disgusting.  Guilt ridden knowing that I will pierce that baby with these thorns. 

So, I wonder if those people who think they are too shit filled for Jesus feel a lot like that; guilty for putting their thorns and crap on a baby.  Is it the manger story that makes the Cross of Christ so hard for our minds to bear? 

God reminded me tonight of something I think is often over looked.  At least I know that I have over looked it and that is this:

Before Jesus came to earth as a tender, sweet baby, He sat on the throne in Heaven where all of time was laid out before Him. 

He saw and knew exactly what thorns/sins I would crown Him with that day on Calvary, long before He lay in swaddling clothes.  And He still came to earth.  And He chose to come to earth in a stable.

I don't think that was an over sight on His part.

He was born in a shit filled stable and laid in a manger, so that people who feel like I did can rest assured that He can be born in them too.

So I don't relate to a person in this story, I relate to the place.

Come be born in me again this Christmas, Lord Jesus.