The Pastor's Pen, January 2018
The Father’s Pleasure
In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of God the Father and tells us:
It is your Father’s good pleasure
to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
A lot of folks spend time and energy fussing over trying to please God. But in this season of Christmas, the New Year, the Epiphany, and the Baptism of our Lord, we need to remember God’s desire to please us.
As the great Christmas hymn (Hark! the Herald Angels Sing) says:
…pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
We can never do enough to find favor with God. He has already shown his favor to us by showering us with the gifts of this season.
In John 14:27 Jesus tells us:
My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
So it is with God’s hope, joy, love, and promise for us in this season.
Christmas is the fount of all blessing, because it marks the most precious gift of all: God gives himself to us. By pouring himself into human form, God takes on our reality so that we can clearly see his reality.
Of course we know the trials and tribulations of this mortal life. But Almighty God in Jesus Christ takes them on for us, and bears them with us, by joining us in our earthly journey.
This enfleshment of God - the Incarnation of Christ - takes our breath away when we ponder its enormity: The entire vastness of God contained within one human person is an offense against all human calculation. Yet there he is: Jesus of Nazareth, fully human yet fully divine as Son of the living God. He is Emmanuel - God with us, God for us, God among us.
Jesus is the only bridge between time and eternity. He offers himself to us as pure gift. In him we see the kingdom of God. And we give God our thanks and praise.
- Pastor Duke