I’d like to welcome Bailey from The Thin Place to the blog today! I’m honored to host this guest post in anticipation of her (free!) soon-to-be-released Advent Devotional ebook. Make sure you check out her blog and follow the link at the end of the post to sign up to receive the devotional as soon as it is available! This is a great way to keep your heart in the right place this Christmas season!
Our God is not distant or impersonal. Hebrews tells us that we do not have a High Priest unable to empathize with us because He was one of us. In every aspect, Jesus became human.
He was born, helpless, and set into a feeding trough. It probably wasn’t serene and it definitely wasn’t pretty. The daily temptations I deal with, He dealt with them too. Except unlike me, He remained holy, never giving in.
I’m not sure when Jesus knew everything He knew. I’m not sure if His playmates liked Him or snubbed Him. But I do know this, as He came of age, He grew.
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” –Luke 2:52, ESV
Pause and breathe that in; Jesus grew in wisdom and in favor with God.
If Jesus grew, there is hope for you and for me as we trudge through life. Hope that God is not done yet in our lives and that our stories are being woven into a beautiful tapestry. We have hope that, as Christ grew, so He will empower us to grow like He did. His humanity gives great dignity to our bodies and lives. Our experiences are not negligible, they are very important.
Jesus was a man. He lived a human life and, in the ultimate act of humility, died a very human death. His humanity means we are not alone. He’s experienced it to and, understanding with fullness of experience what it meant to be human, acted on our behalf. He lived through heartache. He lived through joy. He lived like us.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” – Hebrews 2:4-8, ESV
The Son of Man came and became like us. The Creator humbled Himself to become like the creation. Instead of standing above us, He embraced our nature fully while retaining His divinity. He knows our pain deeply because He took it upon Himself. Now we mirror His actions to the world around us.
For our sake, God became like us. Now in His name and bearing His blessing, we become what we need to in order to reach others. We reach up to God for strength to reach out and draw others to Him.
We are approaching Christmas, the time when Christ became incarnate, how are we incarnating His love those around us? Am I reaching to the needy in my life and embracing their pain? Am I looking to the sinners and thanking God I am not like them or do I recognize the God-image in them and the sinfulness in my own heart.
Christ is able to sympathize with us and, in response, this should increase the capacity of my heart and life to sympathize with others. Especially for those who aren’t like me. Those who don’t look like me, think like me, or act like me, I need to reach them where they are.
As we move into this season, let us move intentionally, reaching out to other. Let our interests not be our own but focused on others.
Join me this Advent season as I explore the names of Christ and what they mean to our lives leading up to Christmas. http://thethinplace.net/go/his-name-shall-be-called/
Bailey’s journey began in Michigan, where she grew up as the oldest of 10 (yes, ten) children, and has led her to Hawaii and back again with her husband and two dogs. After spending a few years in Hawaii working for a local church, Bailey developed a passion for Church history and the liturgical calendar. She loves drinking excessive amounts of coffee, collecting old books, and camping. She writes at www.thethinplace.net about her faith, hospitality, and fertility journey.