Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve: That's the way I'd have done it!

Christmas Eve, 2012
Fr. Philip Eberhart
 

That’s the way I'd have done it!
Audio File

 
A day or two ago a friend here at REZ emailed me a piece that Max Lucado did called “Gabriel” a few years back in his book, When God Whispers Your Name.  It’s kind of a take off of the old conversation between Noah and God that Bill Cosby did many years back. 
 

Gabriel is expressing his opinion about how this “God becoming Man” thing should happen!  At least he was expressing it to himself.  And Lucado inspired me…  So here you have…
 
“That’s the way I would’ve done it!!”

I mean it’s a no-brainer that God, when He comes to become a man, needs to make an entrance!  Right?

I mean the Psalms talk about thick dark clouds, peals of thunder, lightning bolts – you know -- kind of like the alien spaceship entrance from Independence Day, yeah!!  Nobody misses this event! 
That’s the way I would have done it.
 

Flaming chariot and upraised sword – looking like The King behind a flashing white herd of Arabians – like the Lippizaner Stallions or maybe even the Clydesdales from Budweiser!  Yeah…
That’s the way I would have done it.

 And they got the angel choirs right!  But shepherds?   Really?
 

And surely there was a better place to do this!   Surely!

Hows about … just before the ball drops in Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve!

Or better yet, how about at half time of the Super Bowl or the World Cup! Yeah…
That’s the way I would have done it.

 

Media coverage.  Tweeting. 
A Facebook Fan page so everyone can be a “Friend” of God!
Yeah, That’s the way I would have done it.
 

But no!  God had to have things His way.  He’s funny like that!
 
No flash, no smoke, no lightning bolts.  Just a bunch of angels …
and shepherds! 
I’ll just never get over those shepherds.  Really?  
Shepherds?   Really?



And God decided to come as a baby!   You kiddin’ me?

And not even a royal in a palace – just some girl who had been born into the line of David. I guess that’s pretty close, but the bloodline was so thin by the time it got to her… 

Well… that NOT the way I would have done it!

A young girl from a nowhere town

      (“Can anything good come from Nazareth?) 

Engaged to the local carpenter.  Wow. 

Almost as good as the shepherds!
Sheesh.

Are ya feeling me here?  I just don’t get it.

Why not do things My way? 

 
And in the silent night, God answers: 

Cause it’s doing things your way that got us in this mess in the first place.

 

 

The Christmas story, as unlikely, as unassuming, as unseen as it was and is, has held the world spellbound for over 2000 years.  The baby, grew up, and became a man like no other.  Because he was a man like no other!  God’s Only Begotten Son.

We laugh because of the life and the hope and the love that came into the world in the person of this baby, Jesus.

 The son of Mary and Joseph has taught us how to live our lives, as sons and daughters of God.  His Heavenly Father was doing it his way – every step of the way.

I think that part of the reason that God chose the ways and means He did for the appearance of His One and Only Son, Jesus, was that he didn’t want to do anything that would take away our need for faith.

Faith is an amazing thing!  First it is a gift of God, just like Jesus!  It is simply trust.  Trust in Jesus, the unlikely baby from Nazareth, born in a barn in Bethlehem, with his parents, the shepherds and magi and angels from heaven around him -  There is nothing but Him to hang your faith on.  Just like God planned it.

Nothing but the most incredible life ever lived! 

Nothing but the deepest words ever spoken!

Nothing but the greatest love we ever witnessed!

Nothing but the greatest sacrifice ever given!

There is nothing but Jesus Christ, the baby and the King of Glory to hang you faith on!

Just like God planned it.

 

Amen.

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