Just Thinking...My First Blog
Blogging…a recent creation and one which I’ve considered for some time. Bloggers include stay-at-home moms, writers, pastors, techies, retirees, experts in fields of business, entrepreneurship, education and much more. I have assumed that a blogger is a person who thinks they have something to say that would be of value or interest to many other people. Some use blogging to build a platform for their business, or to gather a wider audience.
Pastor Debbie Fuller asked me to consider writing a blog once a month for our church webpage. Why me? I am a writer. I want to improve my writing skills. I am a pastor and teacher in the church. I believe I have something to say that will encourage and build others up in their faith. I accepted Pastor Debbie’s offer to write a blog because I want to do what the apostle Paul said in 1 Colossians 1:28-29, “Him (Christ) we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.” (ESV)
Merry Christmas! Have you noticed that Christmas Day is on a Sunday this year? That has created a dilemma for many of us who do truly love Jesus. The idea of going to church on Christmas Day seems to upset us and then our guilt and defenses arise together. It’s been suggested that we should cancel church. After all, it’s a day to be with our families. Why make us go to church? It has exposed an underlying challenge – suggesting that perhaps we believe that going to church is a ‘duty’. Is it something we ‘have to do’ every Sunday? I am not going to attempt to answer these questions. But they do give us pause to consider what we truly believe and value.
I’ve been thinking about Jesus’ birth. Why didn’t He simply leave heaven and ‘become’ a man at the age of 30, show up in Jerusalem and start teaching and doing miracles? He certainly could have. What was the purpose of taking the long road, of living for 30 years in relative obscurity? Our God is not a haphazard God. What He does, and doesn’t do, is always with purpose and wisdom.
So, I asked My Teacher (Holy Spirit), “Why did Jesus enter humanity as a baby, and take the long road to Calvary?” This is what I learned. We were created in the image of our triune God. They know all about us, every detail of our lives, our thoughts, our joys and our struggles. To redeem us, there had to be a perfect, without blemish, sacrifice. A firstborn sacrifice. This is what we call atonement, and it was for our sins. But the one who executes the atonement offering is the High Priest. The High Priest had to be from among the people, one of them, in order to represent them. Jesus is our High Priest – He is the one who is both sacrifice and High Priest. He had to be one of us!
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:17-18 NKJV)
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16 NKJV)
Why did Jesus enter humanity as a baby, and take the long road to Calvary? Sympathy. Mercy. Grace. God’s Son wanted, needed, to experience humanity in all its weaknesses and strengths. He had to understand, as one of us, what temptation was all about so He could help us today. It wasn’t just about Calvary. It was about every day, every minute of every one of our lives. Mercy required it, grace provided it.
I am humbled by this decision made in eternity past. He became one of us. Lived as one of us. Cried, laughed, loved, and fought as one of us. Now He intercedes for us and helps us with that understanding and knowledge. Is He upset that we find it a challenge to go to church and worship Him on Christmas Day? Not in the least. He understands. But, I’m going…because He came.
Marjorie Clark, 12/7/16