Monday, December 24, 2012

"A Dangerous Love" - David

The expression of God's love in the Incarnation, the coming of Jeshua Messiah, or Jesus Christ had nothing of Santa, electric lights, and decorated trees. Shopping malls, crammed with last minute bargain hunters, were not present at first momentous night.

Photo from Bethlehem at Christmas at an inn
Shepherds would not have been admitted into the bosom of the normal families staying at the inns in Bethlehem. They were considered unclean. However, they were welcomed close as they gazed at the arrival of the little one. Surrounded by farm animals, they felt right at home. They left, anxious to spread the good news.

The religion scholars, knowing where the Anointed One was to be born, informed the Magi from the East, where the expected birth was to take place. But...why didn't they rush from their comfort in Jerusalem? Bethlehem was only two hours away - by foot. Were they not curious about this new-born? Weren't they waiting for the Messiah? And...why didn't they raise an alarm when they found out that King Herod was sending troops to kill all the new-born boys?

The wise men, having been told where the baby was born, returned to their homeland having left their treasures, their gifts. Perhaps these gifts supplied the financial needs for Joseph and Mary as they fled to Egypt, leaving behind the threat of the king.

The arrival of the Anointed One brings a dangerous love. He comes and is rejected by his own.

As we intend to write as one of the themes of our blog, it has always been dangerous for those who followed Jesus Christ. I n the first centuries those who formed the new communities expressed agape love to their enemies. Persecutions followed Christians for about 265 years before a general "peace" broke the long periods of danger. Gradually, the Roman Empire accepted this new faith.

That community is now a world wide expression of faith, spread across 1,800 languages and expressed in many different ways in 180 countries.

Yet, still, in many nations, to believe in Jesus is a "dangerous love". It is a love that overcomes the vast distances of broken relationships and rejection created by "enemies". Jesus has come to save us from our sins.

Last week, when Egyptians in three small villages were going to vote on the referendum of the new constitution, Christians were told not to vote. Instead, they were to leave the village for the day and come back two days later. Upon their return, they found their houses burned to the ground.

As we, in the comfort of our homes, commemorate this season and wish one another "Merry Christmas", let us remember those for whom remembering the Incarnation is a dangerous love.

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