A WAY IN A MANGER
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
As we move into the second week of our Advent Journey, we took the time to light and dig into the second candle which is the Bethlehem Candle that represents love. So as we look at the week ahead, I hope and pray that you are ready to really look at the gift of love that God gave to us in the form of a child that was laid in a manger/feeding trough filled with hay to protect the world from destruction. Now some of you may be questioning why today's blog is entitled "A WAY" in a manger. I know that some are probably thinking oh no here we go with Jason and his spelling and his unwillingness to proof read and realize that he made a mistake. And I just want to let you know that I definitely did not make a mistake today because the love that we are going to talk about in our blog today came and gave us a A WAY to find eternal life. Yes it is a play on words, but it is one that is so direct and intentional that it should rock us to the core of our existence. As I have sung this Christmas hymn so many times, I never really paused and looked at the title until God put it in my head this morning. I mean there is no other way to really understand the true meaning of God's love or the true meaning of Christmas than to recognize that God gave us A WAY to defeat death and the sin of this world but through giving us HIS SACRIFICE of Jesus Christ that laid in a manger.
Multiple times we probably have sung through this song and never really stopped to think of the significance of the title. A WAY that allows us to see the extravagant love of God in the form of a small gift that was named Jesus. A WAY that had been planned ever since evil entered into the world and a way to allow us to to truly see the very face of God in human form. It was the love of God that was willing to sacrifice it all and in humility, left His throne on the right side of God, put on flesh and came to earth to experience the pain and the
suffering that we had placed on ourselves. A WAY to be able to recognize that only through Christ can we truly see and experience the grace, love and mercy of God as a free gift with the only string attached is the one that is guiding our hearts. A WAY in a manger for the world to hear the first cries of life that had been so awaited by the world after over 400 years of silence. And then the TRUE LIGHT was born into the world to shine a light into the darkness that cannot be thwarted. A WAY for the lost to find their way... A WAY for the hurt and sick to be healed... A WAY for the sinner to have a place at the table and for the disciple to be equipped to go and carry the message of the WAY to the world living in uncertainty. There is no doubt that the world rejected Him because they could not understand that there was a new WAY that had come into our lives to stop all of the destruction that sin had caused to His creation.
We can see that by taking the time to pause and recognize that our scripture today is the fulfillment of the WAY that God was ready to show His unending pursuit of us, His AGAPE love, through His ONE and ONLY Son, Jesus. For many of us, this verse is not one that we should not already know, but it is something that we need to be reminded of every day. A WAY was created to bridge the chasm that sin had caused that separated us from God. And just make note, this week as we talk about this love, most of the time it is not us who loved first, but the main action of this love has been directed and orchestrated purely from God. So for a lot of us that look at the actions of God in the Old Testament and think that God was a jealous God, I need you to understand that God had a plan all along. His plan was put into action as soon as Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden and sin entered into the world. God began to reveal His plan as the beginning of the spiritual battle had begun and the only true WAY that we could be saved was through the GIFT that was given to the world. For God so loved... yes the God that we try to humanize and give human emotions, was willing to pay the ultimate price of love through giving the ultimate sacrifice. This love of God can be seen through the fact that Jesus had to become the guilt offering for our sins. Do we honestly believe that God did not have the power to stop anything that happened. NO! We have to realize that God provided A WAY that only through the blood of the lamb could we once again be made whole. Verse 17 says it pretty clearly about the WAY that God provided, "17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." God did not send Jesus to condemn us but to SAVE US.. That ONLY through Jesus can we be saved and that was the WAY that came in a manger.
I really do hope and pray that you are able to take the time and really continue focusing on the impact that this advent journey can have in your personal life and the impact these words can have on the eternity of the world. This is not a message that needs to be hidden. This is not a time where we need to keep this gift to ourselves, but this is the WAY that leads to the
TRUTH that is guided by the LIGHT which said NO ONE can come to the Father except
through Him. So in this year of complete uncertainty and chaos, there has NEVER been a doubt that God loved us so much that HE provided for us an exit strategy. God provided THE ONLY WAY to elude spiritual death and eternal separation from God through a baby that laid in a feeding trough we call a manger. Please understand that God did not make anything easy for Jesus' journey to the cross and the grave, because God knew that if it would be easy, then people would not truly take the time to press in and take hold of the importance of the Gospel. God gave us THE WAY, and my only hope is that through this ultimate gift of love, we are able to help others find THE WAY to God by carrying the LIGHT into the world. Little would we know that God provided the key to eternity in a manger... A WAY in a manger for the world to be forgiven and fully reconnected as the Children of God.