Sunday, January 3, 2010

Simply Impossible

A recent sermon given before a snow filled Christmas left me with some comforting realizations that I'd like to share. Thank you Pastor Gary for loving us so much that you openly share your heart with us each Sunday. It's a beautiful thing to watch God working through you. Thank you for keeping it real.

Jesus' life was bracketed by two absolute, unequivocal, utter, amazing impossibilities: a virgin's womb and an empty tomb.

You can't have Christmas without Easter.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas Sean and I watched some of the Discovery Channel's stories on the life of Jesus. One naysayer's remark stuck out to me. He said, (paraphrased) Jesus, born of a virgin, impregnated by God, is impossible. As I was dipping cake balls (which is really all I did during the month of December), I literally laughed out loud (LLOL). I said, "Well, yeah, DUH!". I mean, to me it was like debating against your husband's restaurant choice on Saturday night by saying, "I don't want to go there, that restaurant has AMAZING food." Well, yeah, DUH, that's why he chose it! You're just proving my point.

Jesus, born by a virgin who was impregnated by God sounds ridiculous. Outlandish. Insane. Impossible. And it was. It could have ONLY happen through the divinity of God almighty. Yes, Mister Naysayer on the Discover Channel, you are right; Mary's pregnancy WAS impossible. Which, incidentally, makes me love her and her selfless obedience even more. She must have thought she was going insane. As she told her family, friends and even Joseph that an angel had come to her and told her she would be pregnant with the Son of God, who would save us from our sins, she must have questioned even her own thoughts, visions, and mental status. But she trusted and obeyed and 9 months later she gave birth to God himself. God as man. God among us. Our Savior, Jesus Christ. It was an impossibility that only God himself could live up to.

But it was Calvary's cross that shadowed Bethlehem's manger that first Christmas night. Christ's birth, although giving us a picture of God, is not complete without his crucifixion and his resurrection.

Two impossibilities.

We can't celebrate Christmas without Easter.

Christ was the sacrificial lamb slain for the forgiveness of sins. He was the ransom paid for our salvation. It was his death that bridged the gap between a sinful man and the perfect heavenly father. Jesus' impossible birth lead to his death and to his impossible resurrection. Which today allows us a direct line to God. We don't have to hope for peace after death. We have that assurance and that promise. We now have a peace that surpasses all understanding. Why? Because of the impossible.

All of the wonderful, loving presents we received this year won't bring us long term happiness. They won't bring us contentment. The new car smell fades. Electronics quickly become obsolete. Clothes quickly go out of style.

Peace, happiness, joy are gifts that only God can provide. Nothing will ever take the place of the contentment that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Man and materials will never measure up. Only God can fill the voids in your life. He makes the impossible possible.

And I am completely humbled that he loves a sinner like me. That he calls me friend. And that I am his flawed, imperfect, disobedient daughter. And yet, he still thinks I'm beautiful.

Until next time. Mwah!

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