“So God throws open the door of this world—and enters as a baby. As the most vulnerable imaginable. Because He wants unimaginable intimacy with you. What religion ever had a god that wanted such intimacy with us that He came with such vulnerability to us? What God ever came so tender we could touch Him? So fragile that we could break Him? So vulnerable that His bare, beating heart could be hurt? Only the One who loves you to death.” Ann Voskamp
“Let’s go see this thing that has happened.” Shepherds, Luke 2:15
Merry Christmas, PCC!
The incarnation of God coming to earth never gets old. Never! Every year it seems that God reveals to me, through different characters involved in the birth narratives of Jesus, fresh new revelation to disciple me. One year it’s Mary, the next Simeon, the next Anna, last year it was Joseph, and this year, it is the shepherds.
The shepherds didn’t just receive the announcement and the invitation, they responded to it. And in their response, I see no sense of obligation. They were so caught up in the angelic announcement, they couldn’t help but respond in an extreme way!
Luke is laying out something for us here, something we already saw in Mary’s response to Heaven’s announcement to her. Luke is discipling us all and teaching that Jesus evokes an extreme response. Throughout Luke’s Gospel, people either want to throw Jesus off a cliff and cry out for Him to depart from them – or they go to extreme measures to align with Him. They crash parties to pour perfume on His feet, they leave everything and follow Him, they drop water jars and run into villages proclaiming Him. Why? His revelation leaves no option for half-hearted response!
I am confident that if we slow down enough in these next few days to listen and focus on the birth of Christ, if we really give our attention to the great lengths God went to so that we could be saved, we won’t stay passive. God will well up within us a desire for every person we know to receive the hope, forgiveness, and new life that Jesus offers!
So the shepherds set out toward Bethlehem. They fought through the crowded streets for a personal encounter with Jesus, and they started a conversation that is continuing to this day!
I can’t think of any better way to celebrate Christmas than to personally encounter Christ in fresh new ways and then to tell someone else about what I’ve experienced. To that end, I want to invite all of us to consider two things:
- Click here for the link to personally invite as many people as you know to one of our four Christmas Eve gatherings through Facebook. All the information is on our website here, and you can scroll down on the page to “Share This” via email or other social media as well.
- Click here and invest in a year-end gift through PCC that will share Jesus and the new life He offers with people all over the Peninsula and all over the world. All special gifts marked “Year-End Gift” will be matched up to $75,000, thanks to generous donors. We are inviting every PCC’er to be a part of the story. Please join us!
Go for broke, PCC! Don’t play it safe this week in your walk with Jesus and in your response to Jesus! I look forward to being at all four gatherings on Sunday and celebrating the incarnation with you.
I love being your pastor!