Friday, December 21, 2012

Are we ready for Christmas?

Are we ready for God to break in?

Christmas is about the creator of universe, God almighty himself, breaking into humanity.  Yahweh becoming human.
Who was ready for Yahweh to come?
No one in Bethlehem.  They did not even care enough to make room for a woman about to give birth.
There were some who were ready.  The shepherds, the wise men, Simenon  Anna.  Even Herod (though he tried to kill Yahweh).
Where was everyone else?  The priests?
Yahweh faced rejection the moment he entered the world as a baby.
But he still entered into the muck of this world.

And the miracle is that Yahweh still breaks into this world, still enters into the muck.
Are we ready?

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."  
Revelation 3:20

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Prayer affects God

Regarding prayer from Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy:

God's "response" to our prayers is not a charade.  He does not pretend that he is answering our prayer when he is only doing what he was going to do anyway.  Our requests really do make a difference in what God does or does not do.  The idea that everything would happen exactly as it does regardless of whether we pray or not is a specter that haunts the minds of many who sincerely profess belief in God.  It makes prayer psychologically impossible, replacing it with dead ritual at best. (page 244)

prayer is a matter of coming to a person other than oneself and asking that they do something that one cannot do oneself.  It is coming to One who has repeatedly invaded human history and continues to do so.  It is intelligently working with him to accomplish ends that fulfill his purposes in creation and in fostering human life upon the earth for a short while.  (page 249)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Was Jesus fun?

Dallas Willard, in The Divine Conspiracy, invites us to think about who Jesus is:

We should, to begin with, think that God leads a very interesting life, and that he is full of joy.  Undoubtedly he is the most joyous being in the universe.  The abundance of his love and generosity is inseparable from his infinite joy.  All of the good and beautiful things from which we occasionally drink tiny droplets of soul-exhilarating joy, God continuously experiences in all their breadth and depth and richness.  (page 62)
We have commented several times on how the currently accepted image of Jesus all but makes it impossible to find him interesting and attractive, lovable.  The responses of common people to him throughout the pages of the gospel show how false that image is.  He was such an attractive person and such a powerful speaker that, from the human point of view, the leaders of the day killed him out of envy for his popularity (Matt. 27:18).  He was a master of humor and often used it to drive home the truths he imparted, as any good speaker does.  But few today would put him on their guest list for a party - if it were really going to be a party.  Jesus as we don't think of Jesus as intelligent, so we don't think of him as pleasant company, someone to enjoy being around.   (page 239)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Is Jesus smart?

Dallas Willard, in The Divine Conspiracy, invites us to think about who Jesus is:

It is not possible to trust Jesus, or anyone else, in matters where we do not believe him to be competent.  We cannot pray for his help and rely on his collaboration in dealing with real-life matters we suspect might defeat his knowledge or abilities.
And can we seriously imagine that Jesus could be Lord if he were not smart?  If he were divine, would he be dumb?  Or uninformed?  Once you stop to think about it, how could he be what we take him to be in all other respects and not be the best-informed and most intelligent person of all, the smartest person who ever lived?  (page 94)