This Christmas, who’s looking for whom?
Reverend Christopher Chia // December 13, 2021, 12:53 am
Our salvation is not by human merit; God has graciously chosen us to be saved, reminds Rev Christopher Chia. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.
I thanked a close relative for adopting this cute stray pup. He replied on our chat group: “No (need), she adopted me!”
He aptly named her Solo. She was the singular pup left behind, most likely abandoned by her mother and siblings during a storm in a small town in Malaysia.
Now Solo has gone from the cold insecurity of abandonment to the warm assurance of being adopted. She has gone from howling in desperate isolation out there to snuggling in consolation at home.
A small picture of the paradox of the Christmas story?
Come, says God
Jesus’ coming into the world is less about us doggedly looking for God. It is supremely about God graciously looking for us.
Our first week of devotions from the book of Isaiah last week focussed on our need for “redemptive silence”. How God patiently called his people: “Come, let us reason.” (Isaiah 1:18)
We have bought into the fake news that we are happiest when we shut God up and shut Him out.
We need redemptive silence to ponder deeply how we foolishly silence God from our hearts and homes. How we proudly gag Him up and run after fake securities and fleeting passions.
Maybe you and I are in a bit of a pickle or in a big mess because we have bought into the fake news that we are happiest when we shut God up and shut Him out.
I once met a man on a flight. We introduced ourselves. He had just graduated and was en-route to pursue a Christian girl, a love interest he met in college.
She was a keen believer. He, on other hand, had chosen to take a break from his Christian family and upbringing. Their relationship had hit an impasse.
When I told him I was a pastor, he went: “Oh no!”
I usually get a more enthusiastic or diplomatic response than that. This young man was neither rude nor antagonistic. He was just acknowledging the “coincidence” of him running away from God but finding himself randomly sitting beside a pastor on a long flight to contemplate the big questions of life.
Mercy of mercies
God is always patiently orchestrating events for us to stop.
Jesus is God’s final Word to us lost souls.
To be silent. To break the vicious circle of “God speaks. We silence Him. God silences us. Yet, finally, it is He who speaks His saving Word.”
Jesus is God’s final Word to us lost souls.
This week, we will shift from pondering our necessity of “saving solitude” to focus on God’s “unthinkable salvation” from Luke’s Gospel.
Today’s inaugural lesson is simple: God has graciously chosen us to be saved.
Nothing gives us more assurance than to be so favoured by God. Nothing grants us more security than to be so blessed by God.
The first recipients of the good news of the birth of Jesus were completely undeserving non-VIP guests to God’s party.
It’s all by God’s mercy, never by human merit.
They were not from the “Who’s Who” of Israelite high society of the first century. From Zechariah and Elizabeth who bore John the Baptist to Joseph and Mary who bore Jesus, the message to each of them was unambiguous.
Each will exclaim in their own wonderment and words: “Who am I to deserve God?”
It’s already overwhelming when we get an undeserved spot in a school, an undeserved job, an undeserved spouse, undeserved children, undeserved prosperity or undeserved comfort. What more, then, for us to “deserve” Jesus and every spiritual blessing in Him! (Ephesians 1:3-10)
It’s all by God’s mercy, never by human merit – never ever forget that.
I have a hunch that Solo will never forget that someone abundantly generous brought her in from the cold and harsh world of forgetfulness, for no other reason than saving love that gives us a second chance.
“Father God, thank you for the Gospel message that you chose us. Left to ourselves, we never would have chosen You. Praise You for bringing us in from the cold and harsh world of sin. Thank you for giving us Jesus and to be truly secure in Him.
Visit https://christmas.arpc.sg to read a 30-day Countdown to Christmas devotional by Pastor Christopher Chia to help us behold the birth of Jesus.
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