The Little Reconciler

December 23, 2019

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:18 

What a package of explosive potential lay in the manger.  He was the little Lamb and the little Shepherd, each one offering life altering implications for those who needed a Lamb to be slain for their sin and for those who needed a shepherd to show them the way home. Baby Jesus would do far more than that though.

He was also the little Reconciler who had the power to bring together two enemies and make them, not only compatible but, intimate.  Reconciliation rarely has such stunning outcomes.  It is one thing to bring together two parties who are at odds over an issue.  It is quite another thing to cause two people, far apart in every way, to eagerly join hands and become one in their mind and heart.

Oh, how deep was this fracture in the Garden of Eden.  God had made man perfectly.  It was man who wanted more, who bought the serpent’s lie, and then opened their mind to evil.  It was a world mankind was not created to understand nor be compatible with.  Evil corrupted him and he began to choose everything that God wouldn’t choose and to think all the things God wouldn’t think. Alienation ensued and the two were separated by a great gulf.  Holiness could not reconcile with sinfulness without a miracle.  God’s answer?  Send a Reconciler who would also be the Lamb to forgive their sin and restore them to what they once were ~ holy before God.  Jesus would be the game changer.   Perfected natures would not want to sin and would indeed hate sin.  Man’s mind would be washed completely of defilement.  He would think and feel like the indwelling Spirit who inhabited him.

The baby didn’t automatically reconcile enemies at His birth.  God’s timetable moves slowly.  It took thousands of years for God to send this Lamb.  It would take thirty-three years more for the Lamb to die for the sins that separated creation from His Father.  But how necessary the three decades were.  The only way for people to trust the Lamb and forsake their sin would be to know Him.  They would watch Him live and hear Him speak. They would experience Him through direct interaction.  His Light would woo the sinner and warm up their icy relationship.  Light would draw some to His Father and repel others.  Not all would hate their sin and mourn the estrangement.

Ah, but for the ones who did, for them it would be different.  The great gulf that separated them from their Creator would break their heart.  They would own their sin that caused the breach and trust the Lamb to bring them to the foot of His cross.  His blood would wash them clean and present them faultless to His Father. Complete compatibility.  Impeccable restoration. Perfect reconciliation.  

If there is tension in our relationship, it can be fixed now by the One who still reconciles.  Thank you, Jesus. Amen

Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.  Psalm 119:73 Just as there are developmental impairments in children, learning impairments exist in God’s children as well.  Each of our stories render us incapable of learning certain kingdom truths.  Some of us can’t trust because our trust has …

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The Little Shepherd and Overseer

December 18, 2019

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.  Isaiah 40:11

When an ancient king from the east made a trek through a desert landscape, the way was prepared beforehand by his people.  The road was inspected, repaired if needed, and all that would harm or obstruct his journey was removed.

Jesus came to prepare the way for His flock to walk the path to His kingdom.  The little Shepherd who napped in the manger would be the One who would make crooked paths straight.  He would remove each and every barrier of sin and condemnation.  He would defeat the foe who would lure people onto the wrong pathway.

Not only was He the little Shepherd but a little Overseer of our souls.

For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.  I Peter 2:25 

He would be the caretaker of the inside world of those He loves.  He would expose sin, the sin that destroys us.  He would inspire repentance, the deep apology and heart change that restores life.  He would point to each crooked place in the human heart in order to make the paths straight without painful detours.  He would cheer on those who limped. He would pick up the lame until they could walk again.  He would help the feeble, working within each nuance of their emotional and spiritual limitations.  This little Shepherd would shepherd perfectly.  No one would be overlooked and not one under His care would have reason to live in shame and dwell in hiding.  

Every one of us has a deep desire to be known by one who loves us.  Because we were made for this, our soul strains to be under the care of one who sees it all and offers to shape an environment where we can thrive.  The perfect Shepherd, the One who daily provides soul care (if I let Him), tends His flock.  He’s a Shepherd, not a brute.  He is the singer who energizes, not the taskmaster who bellows orders.  We are in such good hands.

Jesus, my worship of you, my Shepherd, begins in the manger.  Your shepherd’s crook is ever in my view. Amen