Wednesday, December 24, 2008

into your hands

When we think of Jesus' coming and his self-emptying ("kenosis") in becoming human, we have to see in it a complete abandoning of his life to God. This is difficult to speak of and think through since we're speaking of the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While it was God the Son who became flesh or human, the Son, Christ, did not for a moment fail to be be fully involved himself in an active way, in becoming one of us for our salvation. The Father, the Son and the Spirit, as in all activities of God were intricately involved in this great act and undertaking. The Son was not merely passive in this, but active.

Yet in becoming human (while not, of course, losing God-ness at all, a mystery): even as an embryo to begin with, then born as a helpless baby, the Son certainly in truth committed his life into the Father's hands, into God's hands, and this was played out throughout his life. No one took Jesus' life from him, he made clear. He had the power to lay it down for death, and the power to take it back up again in the resurrection, I take it. Yet this is a true case of becoming one of us to bring us a salvation which is for the forgiveness of our sins by his death, but also to give us a new life to live in him here and now, the same kind of life he lived in faith and obedience to God.

When we celebrate Christmas we need to worship Jesus as the One who though God became a little baby for us. This was an act of God, the Trinitarian God. But it does not diminish for a moment the greatness of this commitment of life made by Christ and then lived out fully in his life and death.

We are to so follow. For me this has taken on major proportions in that for many years I've been bound by fear over at least one issue, which I believe God has helped me to entrust to him now for some time, and concerning which by grace I have not looked back so as to take it back into my own hands, and relive that anxiety. Like Jesus we are given this life in him to live out, a life committing our lives into God's hands fully to the very end throughout all the life God gives us.

God is present with us- Emmanuel- to help us, just as Jesus was helped throughout his life from birth to death.

What might you like to add to these thoughts?


Lennart said...

Ted, what a beautiful reminder of those beautiful (kinosis) words we find in Philippians 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I do not think we will ever understand the true relevance of GOD, who made EVERYTHING, making the decision to live in His own creation in order to love, empower and lead us. Isn't that a picture of pure kinosis?

Blessings and may you have a grace filled and blessed Christmas.

Anonymous said...

God is with us.
praise God.

L.L. Barkat said...

It takes power, really, to humble one self. To become a baby when one is a king... what more power is there than that?

(Btw, those link things you are worried about are simply a result of your updated feeds in your sidebar (that's my theory). Not to fret; it doesn't bother me. :)

Sam Marsh said...

A beautiful reminder of the self-emptying (kenosis) of God [...]

Mama K said...

Thank you. What a good reminder of what this day is all about. -k.

Every Square Inch said...

Ted - thanks for your post...just wanted to stop by and say Merry Christmas!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Lennart, amen! And a most blessed Christmas to you as well.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Nancy.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L., Could be, though they're only on some blogs that I link.

Yes, so true. It takes power that we paradoxically experience in Jesus only in our weakness, or at least the perfection of it of course. That should be an encouragement to us in those difficult times, when we know we just don't have it in ourselves to so humble ourselves and do the right and the good of God's will.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for stopping by and linking this post.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Mamma K.,

Ted M. Gossard said...

Merry and blessed Christmas to you and to yours, as well.