At first glimpse the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15 appears to have nothing to do with the Incarnation narrative in Luke 1-2. However, when you think about it, you might realise there is only one journey in the two stories. Our minds go to the younger son and his flight from home and into the arms of the world to live a “prodigal” lifestyle, only to be spit out bereft of both dignity and “dollars.” But this is the wrong journey.
It is the father who makes the most terrible journey, out of an extravagant heart (a pure prodigality), he embarks on the rescue run to bring his boy home whatever the cost to himself. And in the incarnation, it is also God’s intent to go to extreme and extravagant lengths to bring him people home, whatever the cost of humiliation to himself.
Religion may be about our pilgrimages and journeys supposedly heavenwards. But Christianity is all about a different traveller – God himself. He makes the move, he pays the price, he performs the rescue.
The Incarnation obviously gets a lot of attention in December, but the central truth of Christmas is in the very DNA of the Christian faith! I have been encouraged to hear from folks continuing to read Pleased to Dwell as we enter into the New Year. So here is a new image from Christian Focus to encourage others to keep pondering the subject. Please feel free to share this image and let us know any creative ways to keep the Incarnation in peoples’ thinking as we press into 2015!
The morning after Christmas Day is quiet. In our house it is quiet because the children were wiped out by a long and fun day yesterday. In other houses it is quiet because everyone is out shopping for bargains in the sales. For many, the magic of Christmas has now given way to a gradually growing anticipation of return to work or school.
So let me be up-front about this. I have a vested interest in a continued interest in the truth of Christmas. After all, Pleased to Dwell is a book I have authored and I would like it to be of interest to folks for more than just a few weeks each year. Maybe that is my motivation in pondering the subject of this post, but I hope that is not my only motivation.
Christmas is in the DNA of the Christian faith. Why? Because God’s Son didn’t just become one of us to launch an annual holiday. It wasn’t a publicity stunt to stir the sales of Christmas cards and boost end-of-year retail revenue. God’s Son became flesh and dwelt among us because that was the ultimate expression of the heart of God – a heart that wants to draw our hearts out of the black hole of our self-loving-vortex (think January sales), and back into true communion with the God who made us.
The Son of God didn’t become one of us for some temporary period of time, or on some fleeting agenda. He became one of us forever so that we can be united to Him forever.
Whether Pleased to Dwell continues to be a blessing to folks for the next few months is not important. Whether we a gripped by the wonder of the Incarnation and the every day, forever lover of our souls, is.