Perusal* – Winter 2010, In the bleak mid-winter….

(* perusal; to examine or consider with attention and in detail) 

Hebrews 12:1-2, Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

How soon 2010 has passed, quicker and more rapidly than the year before.  The Holiday (or holy day) season is upon us with family, friends, and faith.  Faith placed in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the monogenes of God, begotten from the understanding of His holy Self, and subsisting in that idea.  I wish these were my original thoughts, but I don’t think that deeply.  These are the thoughts of Jonathan Edwards written 300 years ago as he reflected upon the beauty of the Trinity.  He continues, “The Father is the deity subsisting in the prime, unoriginated and most absolute manner, or the deity in direct existence.  The Holy Ghost is the deity subsisting in act, or the divine essence flowing out and breathed forth in God’s infinite love to and delight in Himself.”  Weighty thoughts.  Thoughts to ponder “in the bleak mid winter.” 

This Christmas season, how do you think of God?  Is He one who’s character is so full that Jesus Christ results – another Person standing forth, but also One in divine essence?  Are you aware that the Father and Son have such eternal love and joy in each other’s excellence that yet another Person stands forth – the Holy Spirit, distinct and yet One in both the Father and the Son?   

Jesus is the unspeakable gift from the union of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  This is good news indeed!  Much has been written about the timing of our Savior’s birth – was it in winter or early spring?  The medieval Christian church blended the pagan feast of Saturnalia and all its imagery with the Christ Mass to facilitate faith in Jesus Christ.  Mankind tends to do that in order to make the Gospel more palatable, easily swallowed or glossed over.  Repentance of sin has never been very popular and never shall.  But the good news of God’s character in Jesus Christ does bring true peace on earth to those willing to repent and believe. 

God loves us and demonstrated His love by appearing in His Son, the express image of God’s Person.  The Creator communicated to us as Redeemer so that the crown of His creation might receive in Jesus Christ, His glory. Born of a virgin, the incarnate Son of God communicated to our hearts through his preaching and teaching.  He made known to us the Father and glorified the Father by his obedience. In turn the Father reveals the Son as the “glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”, 2 Corinthians 4:6.       

These grand truths should cause us to pause and ponder, to peruse the unimaginable love, mercy, and grace of the God of the living Word.  As Jesus told Peter, “Flesh and blood did not reveal my true identity to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” What thoughts for souls to reflect upon in this bleak mid-winter. 

Sola Deo Gloria, Pastor Carey