|God's rest during Christmas 2013|
Ex 33:12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation isYour people.” 14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
After 6 months of working 7 day weeks, and 12 hour days, i finally came to rest on Christmas day and decided that I should live my life resting in God.
For the GLBT community, this year is a year of many Christmas gifts from the repeal of DOMA, and Proposition 8 at the Supreme Court urshering in a wave of Same sex marriage legalizing in New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, and even Utah.
In the greatest irony remembering the Mormon church vital support in Prop 8 to stop gay marriages in California, so quickly has gay marriage reached Utah which is a very conservative place despite worshiping Joseph Smith and the angel Moroni. And it all happened the Friday prior to the Christmas week.
As Christmas is celebrated all round the world, the story of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ intrigures even the most hardened skeptic. Is it true that God is with us in Christ? or is all explained under "tradition".
The bible is a written narrative of how the God of Israel shown Himself to the world through a tiny nation called Israel in the midst of many prevailing religions and cults, not only man made but having a spiritual reality of a realm with demons and angels.
God wants us to know Him, and be known, not considered as an incomprehensible mystery. We cannot comprehend the truth, the grace and love of God without the revelation of God's redemption, first to Abraham, then Moses, and David, and when Israel came to an end after being conquered by the Romans, a Messiah, God Himself in Jesus Christ whom birthday we are celebrating.
It is not that God's ways are difficult to comprehend, but it takes faith, faith to believe when we live in a broken world where there is much injustice and hatred. How could God be God in our present circumstances?
If God could sent His Son Jesus Christ to such a time in history, and the presence of God in Christ Jesus never really left us and continues to abide with us through the Holy Spirit of God. God was no longer constrained to the physical, but in resurrection, Jesus came into our hearts when we chose to accept Him.
This Christmas, we are not celebrating a mystery or tradition, but a reality that God wants to be known, and for us to know God.
We cannot celebrate Christmas without comprehending that Jesus came to die. But in death, He gave us life and life more abundantly.
We give gifts to each other during Christmas, because God desires for us to live each day as a gift from God. Our work, our family and friends are all gifts of God's grace and mercy.
Before Jesus died at the Cross of Calvary, He cried out for God the Father to forgive the Romans and the Jewish people. We can't be resurrected, to receive the fullness of God's gift without forgiving.
For Gay people, the greatest challenge when we are wronged or sinned against, and denied so many rights is to forgive. We can never forget, but can we forgive? When we forgive, we receive the gift of life to live again from heaven itself.
God not only wants to be known and for us to know God, but for His presence to be manifested in Jesus Christ.
As we celebrate Christ birthday, Jesus is our Emmanuel, not only on this day but every day when we seek to enter into His presence. His work at the Cross is completed, and Jesus had entered into rest at the right hand side of God the Father in heaven.
So in God's presence, there is rest for God will do all for us in His grace and mercy in Christ Jesus because often we neither have the strength, the courage nor the hope and faith to move on.
Ex 33:17 So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” 18 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” 19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of theLord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”21 And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”
Before the Cross, we saw only the back of God from afar of. Now at Jesus birthday, we behold Jesus, the Son of God reflecting God's glory, grace, truth, goodness and mercy.
May God's compassion, and goodness showers you during this Christmas season and bring new hope this coming year.
May God's presence be with you, now and forever. May you find rest in that humble child resting in a manger.