Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Jesus!

I have three kids, a son and two daughters, when you throw me and my wife in the mix we have a total of five people in our family. That means we have five birthdays we have to celebrate during the year. It just so happens that four of us have our birthdays in back to back months over the summer. We call it the summer of birthdays (real creative right!). My son's birthday is in June, mine is in July, my youngest daughters birthday is in August and my middle daughter's birthday is in September. The non-summer birthday is my wife's and hers is in March. As we celebrate birthdays we rarely sit around and focus on their infancy. We tend to focus on how fast they are growing up. We tend to say things like "Wow, next year you will be starting first grade." or Next year you will be starting high school." or "You are now old enough to get your driver's license." Many times you will hear people say "My how you have grown up!" It is not often that we focus on them being a baby.

I say all of that to make a point. This is the season when Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. We celebrate the fact that God loved his created, sinful beings so much that he sent his son to earth, born of a virgin with the purpose of one day being nailed to a cross paying the ultimate price for my sin and yours. It seems that the way we celebrate the birth of Christ is to put a nativity scene our yard, church or business. They all look similar, Mary and Joseph with a few animals focusing on a baby lying in a bed of hay or straw. We tend to focus on the Jesus of the past. We focus on a Jesus who is a helpless little baby. We focus on a Jesus who is completely dependent on his mother and father to take care of him.

Although we remember the birth of Christ during this time of year we need to remember that he is no longer a helpless little baby. Jesus grew up and became the man who would go toe to toe with the Pharisees, the man who would cleanse the temple, the man who would stand before Pontius Pilate, the man who endured severe beatings, the man who would be nailed to a cross and ultimately the man who would rise from the grave. Christ fulfilled the divine task God prepared in advance for him to do. Christ was a man. He is no longer a helpless little baby in a bed of straw. Now, as a man, he is sitting at the right hand of God with all power and authority. In the book of Revelation we get a glimpse of what is going on through the eyes of John.
Revelation 5: 11-14

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
This is the Christ who's birth we celebrate. This is the Christ who grew up and fulfilled all that God had prepared for him. This is the Christ who grew up and finished the task of preparing a way for sinful man to have a right standing before God. This is the Christ who grew up and now wants to have a personal relationship with you and me. This is the Christ who will one day come back to earth to establish his permanent kingdom.

Happy Birthday Jesus, my how you have grown up!

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