Thursday, December 22, 2011

Breaking Dawn

“In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1: 78-79

The word “passion” comes from the Latin root meaning “to suffer”. This is why the crucifixion of Christ is often referred to as “The Passion”. Christ was so passionately in love with you and me that He was willing to endure the ultimate sacrifice and suffering in order to open the doors to heaven for us so we could be with Him forever. When we look at the Latin root of the word “compassion” it means to “suffer with”. This is huge! Many times perhaps, we think of compassion as sympathy—merely feeling sorry for someone hurt or in need. But compassion is so much more than feeling bad for someone else; it moves from sympathy to empathy in action. And this action is to join with the person in their suffering: we go to the homeless, we hug and cry with the sorrowful, we visit those in prison, we get cut and dirty and sweaty working on projects for a workcamp or service mission with our church. We live with and eat with the people in Africa or Asia or Central America when on a mission trip. We sacrifice our own time for a friend that needs to talk. In other words, we don’t just go around feeling sorry for people while still continuing to live our own isolated lives.

And this is what God did (and still does) for us. He did not stay in heaven feeling pity and mercy for His people who had turned from Him while at the same time content in the love of the Trinity. No, His perfect love compelled Him to come down to this Earth He had created from nothing, to become one of the creatures He had made in His own image from clay, to humble Himself and come as an infant, helpless and in need of His own creation to care for Him, feed Him, change His diapers. He grew-up like each of us grows-up. He went through acne and puberty and school (at home). He learned obedience and sacrifice from Mary and Joseph and He got cut when he fell down, He got blisters from working carpentry, He experienced hunger and thirst, He was too hot and too cold at times and He knew fear and anger as well as joy and gladness. And in the end He knew what it felt like to be abandoned, betrayed, falsely accused, humiliated and hated.

Jesus came into our darkness like dawn breaking over the horizon and His light will penetrate deep into the darkness of our hearts if we allow Him to join with us in our suffering. This Christmas let us meditate on the tender compassion of a God who loves us so much!

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your tender compassion. Thank You for joining me in all of my sufferings so that I can trust You at every moment. With Your grace, may I open my heart fully to the dawn of Your presence in the very depths of my heart. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment