• 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: 

    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.

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