19th December 2010

God Meets Us In Our Scorn And Rejection

“…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Colossians 1:12-14 (NIV UK)

At Christmas we hear triumphant hymns and carols heralding Jesus as God and king. Yet when Jesus walked the dusty roads of Judea 2,000 years ago, he wasn’t heralded, he was rejected. For 33 years Jesus—God with Us—the Saviour of the world—was met by scorn and rejection.

Even when Mary was about to give birth, no one could, or would, provide a proper place for her to deliver the child, so Jesus was born in a stable. As soon as Jesus was born, King Herod tried to have him killed, and Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt and keep the baby hidden.

When Jesus began his ministry, the religious leaders of Judea accused him of blasphemy and wanted him killed. At one point even his mother Mary and his siblings thought Jesus was “out of his mind.”

When Jesus taught that he was the Bread of life—the true Bread come down from heaven—many of his own disciples rejected him and no longer followed him. One of his disciples, Judas, betrayed him to the corrupt authorities. Another, Peter, denied him in a flurry of profanity.

Jesus’ own people chose to free the murderer Barabbas instead of him and, when the Roman governor asked them what to do with Jesus, they shouted, in the ultimate act of humanity’s scorn and rejection of God, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

But it was all in accord with God’s plan, determined from before the foundation of the world—his plan to meet us sinful human beings at our worst and to love us in the midst of our deepest contempt, scorn and rejection. His plan: to forgive all our sins and heal our wicked and rebellious hearts.

God loves us that much, so much that he sent his Son that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life. That is the wonderful message of Christmas, of the Son of God coming to be one of us.

Whatever the many ways we might still turn our backs on God—even in our darkest, most sinful moments—God will never stop loving us. That’s the real meaning of Christmas. And it is good news, indeed, worthy of angelic heraldry and our worship and awe.

Holy Father, thank you for Jesus Christ and his life as a human being. His first coming changed the world, changed how we view God, how we view ourselves as Christians. Truly his birth was our rebirth too. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach

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