• Barns & Nobles – Luke 2.1-20

    Flattening the Hills

    Last week we read about the noble wise men. This week we read about shepherds. Wise men don’t usually hang out with shepherds.  And gods don’t usually hang out with men.

    God is not ashamed to make his home among us. Why should we be ashamed to spend time with one another?

    Part of the meaning of Christmas is that in Christ, all barriers that we think are important – rich, poor, weak, strong, disabled, differently-abled, black, white (and every other beautiful shade of brown) – are forever erased.

    “Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low;
    the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
    And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together.
    For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
    (Isaiah 40.4-5)

    “Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low;”

    Which valleys? Which mountains? Every valley that separates us from one another and God was carved with the gnarled, pointed finger human prejudice and sin. Every mountain that divides human beings from one another and our maker was piled high and deep by the work of our own dirty paws. These are the valleys that only the Lord himself could fill in; the mountains that only the Lord could level flat. And he did so by example – by coming to us as a vulnerable infant, God disregarded all barriers that keep nobles from visiting barns, and shepherds from chumming with nobles.  

    Chains Shall He Break

    The details that divide us have no place among a people who worship the God who despised the divide between Himself and humanity. We worship the God who crosses the aisle and shakes hands with the sinner, and makes us all brothers and sisters. Jesus Christ is man enough to risk His good reputation as right and Holy for the greater purpose of redeeming we who are not right and unholy. This is the kind of soul-searching and brave God we serve.

    “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3.28)

    And yet we still have the audacity to make distinctions, even to our shame, in the body of Christ. For those who are truly in Christ there is no Baptist or Nazarene, no pentecostal or charismatic, no Catholic or Orthodox. All who believe are one in Christ, and there is no distinction.

    In Christ there is no slave or free, for all are slaves to righteousness and all are free by the blood of the lamb.

    There is neither male nor female, for all are filled with the same empowering Spirit to serve one another regardless of gender.

    There are no immigrants, for we are all aliens and strangers on the earth (Hebrews 11.13).

    There is no race but Adam’s race.

    There must be never, ever, ever be room in God’s church for racism, sexism, classism, or denominationalism.

    If Jesus, the noblest of nobles, was content to hang out in a barn with us, who are we to refuse to associate with one another?

    May we find the courage this Christmas season to lay down our foolish and man made barriers, to seek out ways to associate with those we despise – or at the very least prefer not to hang out with. Let the child in the manger remind us that God came to us first – and let His example inspire us to cross the aisle and befriend those we would never befriend otherwise.

    I’d like to close with words from my favorite Christmas hymn:

    “Truly He taught us to love on another
    HIs law is love and His gospel is peace
    Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
    And in His name all oppression shall cease”

    (O Holy Night)

     

     

    Blog Category: 
    Downloads: 

    Share this post

    Leave a comment

    Plain text

    • No HTML tags allowed.
    • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
    • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

    About Us

    This blog is written by leaders of SVCC. The people who write here are not perfect or "holier than thou."  They just strive to seek after God with all their hearts.

    We hope that God will speak to you as you read the words He's placed here through the hearts and minds of people who follow after Him.

    Worry Storms True Riches living right Acceptance Love Never Fails Spiritual Support Gentiles fear Narrow Way Outcast demons Weary Walk on Water Richonomics Backbiting Judas Word of God Genealogy Kindness Prophecy Lent Restoration Eye Envy God's Timing Bible Study Ezekiel Holy Week Pornography Mary Unclean John the Baptist Disappointment trouble End Times Tithes Original Sin Fasting Healing Gehenna Authority Christ joyous thoughts Lunatic wisdom Evangelicalism Cross Lies Dragon Depression Applause Gentleness Sheperds Understanding Predestination Discipleship Holy Love Free Will Shame Traffic Theophany Christmas Eve Holiness Wise Men Tired Angels control Murder Daily Bible Readings tempest Family Tree judging others denial Physical Need Childlike Advent Morality Poverty Worship Honor aim Seventy Sevens Breath Prayer Hell Son of Man Truth Father's Business Moving Mountains Poser Emptiness Wonders Provision Humility Alabaster Jar Dependence Expectations Questions Joy Treasure Persecution Education Messages wholehearted Desire Angel Miracles Repentance Fornication Holy Spirit letting go Bushel Mission Work Free Samples Self Worth Obedience Revelation Liar Not a Fan Ready Watch Sexism Fruit fo the Spirit Action Retaliation Confession Parenting through Christ Neutrality Presence of God Sin Christology Materialism Patient OK Trek & Journey Herod Empty Tomb Parables Conflict Guilty By Reason of Humanity May Gifts Serving Signs Greed Purity Second Coming exposure Apology Rest in the Lord God is in control Be Prepared Hospitality Santa Christmas Baptism Evangelism Grace Violence trajectory Women's Ministry Blog Love Exhausted Savior without Lord victor Mary Magdalene Lord The Dukes of Hazzard Reward Nice Perseverance Part 1 Faith or Fear Charity Guests Law Desperado Family Compassion Topheth Busy Knowing God Nobles Racism Approval Gossip Men Forgiveness The Cost of Discipleship Taste and See Easter Happiness Cost of Discipleship Lamp Wealth Faith Sacrifice Service Damascus Road Prayer Naughty Gender Trek and Journey Light Judgment Vision Goodness Mercy Ancestry Apocalypse Great Commission Restore unto me the joy Hebrew Names of God suffering unpardonable sin Betrayal Disciple Fails Daniel outsiders Purpose Satan relationship with God tribulation Jim Eliot Scripture Memory Fire unforgivable sin Social Justice Matthew God the Father Temptation Assumptions Hypocrisy Spiritual Need Antichrist Giving Blessings Spiritual Warfare Politics Bread Palm Sunday Adultery Oozing Spirituality Lust Security Family of God Basket Salvation Daily Bible Reading Son of God Serving God Verdict God's Word Rest Temptations Christmas Dragon Trials Simple Complexity Pooronomics Lost Cause Clothing Speaking Messiah Danger Take up your cross Fruit of the Spirit Newbigen Soil Doubt Jairus Victory Judgement Spiritual Blindness Regeneration Honesty victim theodicy Friendship Apologetics Foundation Spirit Walkers Witness Sanctification stress Community Ash Wednesday Heart Armor Anxiety Injustice Atonement Money Interpretation Proverbs Inconvenience Jerusalem Patience Habits Stubborn