Pastor Tim stepped us into Advent by posing the question: Why a manger? (Luke 1:26-35, Luke 2:1-7) Amidst these pages of Scripture, Luke describes the profound miracle of the conception and birth of Jesus, the Son of God. Wayne Grudem in Systematic Theology writes, “It is by far the most amazing miracle of the entire Bible – far more amazing than the resurrection and more amazing even than the creation of the universe. The fact that the infinite, omnipotent, eternal Son of God could become man and join himself to a human nature forever, so that infinite God became one person with finite man, will remain for eternity the most profound miracle and the most profound mystery in all the universe.”
We zeroed in on Luke 2:7,”She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.” And, although we probably know why Jesus came to this earth…Jesus came to die so that we might live. He came to be the Savior of the world. Jesus himself said, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save those who were lost.” Luke 19:10.
We may be less clear as to why he was born in a barn? It wasn’t a surprise to God… the other details of His birth had certainly been prophesied years earlier—we knew where and we knew the timing would be perfect. (Micah 5:2, Galatians 4:4) So, why a barn? …to identify with the poor! Proverbs 19:17 “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord.” God identifies with the poor; he takes how we treat the poor personally! God wants to help the poor…(primarily) through us. (Matthew 25:31-46)
Two responses to Christ’s challenge:
#1 Identify with the poor
The world-wide stats are sobering:
- 2.8 billion people live on $2/day or less (almost ½ of the world’s population!)
- 20,000 children die every day around the world due to poverty related diseases.
- Next Saturday/Sunday join with the Student Ministry and fast. The students and leaders will be participating in World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine from Saturday noon until Sunday evening. They are trying to raise $6,000 to go to helping to feed the poor as well as ‘feel the hunger of those in poverty’. Consider doing the same.
- If you can’t, find a day this coming week and eat only food that you can buy for $2; what half the world has to live on every day.
#2 Help the poor
Give generously to our annual Christmas Project. (See details of this year’s project at http://compassion.riveroaks.org)