December 18

Today's Bible Reading
     II Chronicles 21
     Revelation 9
     Zechariah 5
     John 8
''Therefore if the Son makes you free, you should be free indeed."  (John 8:36)
            The Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, (1813-1855) set out to write a very simple parable. He began by asking, ''Suppose there was a King who loved an humble maiden. How could he declare his love for her?'' The King 's dilemma was that the maiden might respond to him out of fear or coercion because he was the King, but he wanted her to love him for himself. He wanted her to know the freedom of personal commitment, and then the freedom to be the bride of the King without coercion.
            So the King, convinced that he could not appear as a King without crushing his loved one's freedom, resolved to descend. He stepped off his throne, took off his royal robes, and wrapped himself in a shabby cloak. It was no mirrored disguise, but a new identity.  He took on the life of a servant to win the young woman's hand.
            This was quite a gamble.  She might love him or she might spurn him and send him away, and he would lose her love forever, and also lose his kingdom. But that is the picture of the choice God gave to mankind. That, of course, is what the parable is all about.
            Our Lord humbled Himself in an effort to win our love. ''Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men."  (Philippians 2:5-7)
            Now, this is the story and the result of Christmas -God in a manger, God found in a form that no one could possiblyfear, or be coerced by. Jesus was always presented as a servant.  There was never any intimidation or coercion.
Now the question is this: ''Will we love Him, or will we spurn Him and send Him away?''
            The Federated States of Micronesia has about 550,000 people. This group claims to be Christian but Christianity is often a veneer over an animistic world view. Magic is widely used and with western consumerism, it has deadened the initiative and spiritual fervor in the church. Pray for revelation of the power and love of Jesus for these island people.
            ''Invite Him in this Christmas, this Savior from above. 
            The gift He seeks, you need not wrap - He only wants your love."