Monday, December 08, 2014

A Thought for Monday 8 December 2014

“[The Lord] humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know; that [The Lord] might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone, but shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of The Lord.”  Deuteronomy 8:3 NKJV

It almost never fails that when bad things happen, or when things simply do not go the way we want or expect, we think “the devil is out to get me”.  It rarely seems to occur to us that sometimes stuff happens that we have no control over, and it may even be safe to say we never think maybe The Lord is trying to get our attention.  Our contemporary theology has become so cheap and easy that we all but demand prosperity (on our terms); and when it does not come about as we desire, it must be the devil’s fault. 

Worse than this, however, is how we have allowed cheap grace to become so much a part of our theology that others who do not know The Lord become convinced that a) there is no God, or b) the devil has more sway over us and our lives (when we give the evil one any credit whatsoever).  Either way, the sovereignty of The Lord is challenged with each careless word.

So we must back up a bit and see that even The Lord’s “most cherished possession” (Israel) had to be “humbled” not so The Lord could get His jollies, but so that Israel will come to know that we “shall not live by bread alone” (that is, the world’s goods).  The world’s possessions will never give us what we need most.  In fact it can be easily said that the more of the world’s goods we have, the more we desire.  “Enough” is not in our vocabulary.

Especially during this time of year as we busy ourselves with so much holiday prepping and shopping, even as we try to claim that “Jesus is the reason for the season”, the reality is that Jesus is an afterthought – and the world can see that through careless Christians.  If Jesus can so easily be put in the “back seat”, so can “every word that proceeds from the mouth of The Lord” – for Jesus is “the Word which became flesh and dwelt among us”.

Instead of resolving to make this the “best Christmas ever”, resolve instead to give real meaning to this Holy Day we should more busily prepare in our hearts to commemorate.  That glorious day when the lowliest of them all, the ones who had nothing to give, the shepherds, were the very first to be made aware that the Messiah had come, that the Promise had been fulfilled.  Let us embrace the “Word made flesh” as if our lives depend on it – because our well-being does indeed depend on how eagerly we embrace The Word.



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