Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Truth

I was encouraged by two really sweet things from blogs today. I hope you'll slow down and take the time to view these...

* Here's a neat video about Christmas, that tries to reach out and explain the real heartbeat of Christmas, and its history. For me, it was a bonus that the backdrop for the whole video was wonderfully wintry Londontown.

"That's Christmas"
by St. Helens on Vimeo

via Life Together

* A Piper sermon on one of my favorite passages.


The Life-Giving Words of Jesus

The two verses are John 6:63 and 68. The link between them is that both refer to the words of Jesus as life-giving. Verse 63: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

Then, after “many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him,”

Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:67-69)

I love these verses so much. I really identify with Peter's sentiment here a lot of times - I'm not sure about everything, but I do know that there's only one place I can go for Truth and grace, and that's sitting with Jesus. Piper expands on this really powerfully...

No One Like Jesus

And for many of us, what keeps us from going to any of these is the same thing that kept Peter. Verse 68: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” In other words, we may not have all the problems solved—the problems of following Jesus and saying yes to his teaching and his Lordship and his saving work. He may confuse us at times, and baffle us with things he says, and provoke us, and offend us.

And yet, we say with Peter, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” No one ever spoke like you. No one every acted like you. No was ever so strong and meek, so tough and tender, so authoritative and gentle, so profound and simple, so powerful and so willing to be killed, so just and so willing to be treated unjustly, so worthy of honor and so willing to be dishonored, so deserving of immediate obedience and so patient with people like us, so able to answer every question and so willing to remain silent under abuse, so capable of coming down from the cross in flaming judgment, and so committed not to use that power.

Come Back, Like the Prodigal Son

Where shall we go? There has never been anyone like you, Jesus. No one ever taught like you teach. No one ever loved like you love.

This is how thousands of people come to Christ. Not without tremendous struggles as they look around for a philosophy of life, a god, a world without God, a world without the sovereignty of God, a world with some kind of explanation that makes more sense of more things. And they come back, like the prodigal son, and say, “Where shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Last Christmas, God graciously wrote it on my heart that Christmas means hope.
Against all odds, against all earthly "wisdom," the Father of the Heavenly Lights brings hope - hope wrapped in flesh and blood. Immanuel.

He alone brings the words of eternal life. Why should we turn to anything else?

... I hope that the Lord will keep placing this on my mind this Christmastime.

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