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Archive for December 17th, 2009

For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Is. 9:6)

My fellow pilgrims,

To Us a Child is Born!

To Us a Child is Born!

In this Advent season let us meditate on the Father’s incomprehensible act of Love that took place in Bethlehem – when, through a pure and saintly virgin He, through His only beloved Son, took on our flesh so that, in His Son and through His Son, He would bear our condemnation for sin and transform all those who receive Him, through faith, to be His Spiritual Sons and Daughters.

Although the destiny of His Son, Jesus, was to bring peace on earth, that global peace escapes us. Because the world refuses to accept Him, the world is condemned to continue indefinitely in its vain attempt to somehow establish a global peace without the Prince of Peace.

The birth of the Promised Messiah, the Prince of Peace, over two thousand years ago is still the center of divisions and conflict between the world elite (those would-be kings) and the Christian communities around the world. The global peace of God the world so desperately desires, however, will not come until the Prince of Peace rules in the hearts of men everywhere and world and its kings accept the King of Kings and acknowledge Him as the Messiah (Ha Mashiach), the only begotten of the Father, who was born to bring us this peace.

For everyone who believes, however, His peace reigns even now in our hearts as He promised (John 14:27).  For the world that does not know him, there is a promise yet to be fulfilled. For these, as long as they reject Him, it is just as he said: “ I have come not to bring peace but division”(Luke 12:51).  Even the most innocent presentation of His birth in a manger at Bethlehem is a cause for people to take offense and enter into civil strife.  Even though He came to die for the sins of the entire world, the world rejects Him and in rejecting Him, they reject the very love of the Father for them.

The coming of God’s kingdom or reign on the earth inevitably leads to conflict – a conflict of allegiance to God’s will or my will, God’s justice or the world’s way of playing fair, God’s standard of absolute moral truth or truth relative to what I want to believe is good and useful for the time being.

How do you respond to Jesus’ claim to be not only the Messiah, but the source of everlasting life and truth as well? Do you submit to his word and stake your life on the coming of his kingdom? Jesus promises that those who seek to live according to God’s truth will find true peace, joy, freedom, and happiness both now and forever.

Aside from how the world receives Him, how do you respond to His knock on the door of your heart this Christmas?  Is there room at the Inn for Him? Or do you relegate your belief (note that I don’t say “faith”) in Him to the stable of your life?

Many of us, who say we believe, yet having been conformed to the world, tend to treat anything “spiritual”- like our faith in Jesus – in just that way – as something that we keep hidden in the backrooms of our lives  – as something irrelevant to the so-called “reality” of the daily activities we call “living”.

No, my brothers and sisters, this is not what we were called to – we are called to be witnesses to His Love and ambassadors of His Peace (2Cor. 5:20), envoys of His Kingdom. Unless we exhibit and manifest that witness to His Kingdom of Love and Peace through the circumstances of our daily lives we are not being true to our calling – and to Jesus, Our Lord!

The best present we can present the King on His Birthday is to let the spiritual gifts He has given us be fully manifested through our lives in the world – especially the gift of His Love! Let us offer ourselves as spiritual sacrifices (Rom. 12:1) so that His Love may become a reality in our lives!

Do not hold back because of your worldly inhibitions and pride – open your hearts and let the Life He placed there shine forth from you into the darkness of the world.  Remember His words to us …..

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:13-16)

Yes, like Jonah, we may be reluctant prophets – but like Jonah we must respond to the Lord’s call …

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time, saying,  “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” (Jonah 3:1-2)

Yes, brethren, we are called to bring the Good News of the Kingdom of His Love and Peace to the world of our time – our Niniveh! And we cannot do it by taking a passive role or by being conformed to the world and its lusts and deception! We must speak out – we must act! – we must live out the incredible message of Love He has placed in our hearts! We must bring the Jesus that has been born in us out of the manger and into the streets of our Nazareths!

May the Lord bless you and strengthen you as you go forth proclaiming and living the Kingdom of His Peace and His Love!

Bartimaeus

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2009]

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