Sunday, December 18, 2011

Blog # 3 - L Life in Jesus

Blog # 3 - L Life in Jesus During Advent two great Prophets have our attention, Isaiah, and John the Baptist. Both of them spoke of someone coming after them who would be the fulfillment of God's promise given in the Garden of Eden to send a savior who would overcome the evil wrought by sin. After John came Jesus. The difference between John and Jesus might be compared to the difference between a five dollar bill and a picture of a five dollar bill. The picture might resemble the five dollar bill in several ways, being the same color, shape, size, etc. But you cannot spend the picture. The picture is not money, though there is a relationship between them. Without the five dollar bill the picture would not be possible. So it is with God, Prophets, goodness, virtue, Jesus, ourselves, life, death, and love. All of these are connected. All are designed and created. All are because God IS. As the Messiah, Jesus did not come merely to win for us the forgiveness of sins, give good example support and encouragement to those seeking the plan of God for creation, or even to announce the fulfillment of that plan in Himself. He came to bring all of this and more. With unimaginable power and love Jesus claims a personal share in the life of God for those who believe. Here is the awesome difference between His ministry and that of John. To be an authentic Prophet is to be like an authentic picture of a five dollar bill. He/she tells of God's plan and speaks a message from God. The claim of Jesus is not to be a picture of the money but the money itself. Jesus claims to be GOD living among us on earth as one of us in all things but sin! The divine Jesus, the Eternal Word of God, brings to earth God's love in such a way that it can be shared with us as our very own. By faith and Baptism we actually share the very life of God Jesus brought to earth. Here is the basis and foundation of His command that we love one another as He has loved us. Jesus is not speaking here merely of a greater degree of natural human love, a better moral life and love, but a new life and a new love, in addition to our natural life and love. He refers to it as given us in the 'second birth' of faith and Baptism. ( Jn 3: 1 - 5 ). This gift which we refer to as the gift of Sanctifying Grace is to identify and shape our entire Christian experience . "See what love the Father has given us that we are to be called children of God, yet that is what we are!. (1 Jn 3:1). The gift of Christmas for the shepherds, Mary and Joseph on the night when Jesus was born in Bethlehem was the gift of the Historical Jesus . For almost two thousand years now Christians around the world have shared by faith and Baptism the life of the glorified Resurrected Jesus. A person with perfect sight might as well be blind as far as the experience of color goes when he/she closes his or her eyes. In the Incarnation of the Eternal Word of God we have a similar situation. The identity of the Eternal Word of God and the identity of Jesus is the identity of a single Divine person, sent by the Father among us as one of us in all but sin for a time. In the incarnation the Word assumed the limitations of our human experience. Jesus experienced hunger and thirst, fatigue, joy, sadness, and even temptation in obedience to the Father's will much the same as we experience these human realities. It was something like the sighted person shutting his or her eyes and thus eliminating the experience of color . Only when the Father manifested to Jesus the time had come now and then did Jesus 'open His eyes' in obedience to the Father's will and act and speak as God. Here are a few texts that might be helpful in identifying and growing in our appreciation of the great gift of Sancifying Grace as we celebrate the Feast of the Birth of Jesus and enter more deeply into the experience of the life and love of Jesus unfolding for us Sunday after Sunday in 2012. Jn 3:1 ff; 10:10, 28; 20: 30; 6: 33, 35; 6: 47ff (note present tense here ), 1:11-13; Rom 8:14-17; Jn 15: 1 - 5; Rom 6: 4; 2 Cor 5: 17; Col 2: 13; 3: 10.

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