Looking to Jesus

Promises, Promises

The stock question "How are you doing?" is replaced at Christmas with the equally generic "Are you ready for Christmas?" asked with the same general lack of interest as the original. What is meant is, “Have you bought all your gifts; is your home all decorated? Did you get your tree? Did you put up your lights? And so on. People expect only one of two answers: Yes or No, followed by the equally annoying tags lines about being too busy ("Busy, real busy") or having been caught off guard ("Where has the time gone? Wasn't it just Easter?") or most annoying of all, being organized before anyone else ("I was finished before Thanksgiving"). They are not asking you if you have grasped the true significance of the Incarnation. They are not asking if your heart is in the right place before God and others. They do not want to know if you are worshipping God or not. No one is talking about the condition of your soul. Except marketing directors and ad execs of course.

Promises promises. It never ceases to amaze me how marketers tap into the hopes, fears and desires of the masses. Mercedes, for example, claims buying a car can "Set Your Soul Free". We respond to Chrostmas in many ways: Idolatry (putting non-God gods center stage), Lunacy (believing the idols are real), Blashpemy (doing all that with animosity towards God), and Gluttoby (filling your life with junk food of the soul without much thought).  The only soul response that leads us in gospel truth is Adoration, aka Doxology...praising the glory of God's grace in Christ. Fully embrace the true meaning of life. There are words that are familiar. Thomas Ken wrote lyrics in 1674 that are sung as the "Doxology" in many churches. They are actually the last verse of a longer hymn, "Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun": "Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

Which brings us to Christmas and the Incarnation. The vast majority of people in the Bible who were directly and personally affected by the Incarnation responded first in shock and then in praise. Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, Simeon, Anna and the shepherds in the fields. If the Incarnation is the true display of God for the true need of sinners, Adoration is the proper response of those saved by grace. And even our Adoration of God is a gift of God's sovereign grace. Praise the glory of God's grace in Christ. 

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