Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Have a Blessed Christ-day!

There is something staggering about how this day of immense significance passed by so insignificantly. I don't mean December 25 in the year 1, of course. We don't know the exact date of Jesus' birth. And it is usually dated to more like 4-6BC. I mean rather whatever day it was when Jesus was born.

The wise men of Matthew are perhaps a couple years after Jesus' birth. The day itself Luke celebrates with insignificant shepherds in a trough in a village. It did not make the headlines.

The headlines would have been filled with the Emperor Augustus or King Herod the Great. Was the average Jew looking for a Messiah? Not at all sure. A couple years later there would be a revolutionary named Judas who would try to overthrow the Roman government in Galilee. He would fail miserably.

But he did not claim to be God come to earth. That's not the kind of "anointed one" they were expecting.

More than a century earlier, an anonymous individual we only know as the "Teacher of Righteousness" had protested the installation of Maccabean high priests and the way they ran the temple. He had gone to the desert to form a pure Jewish community that did things the right way. But he had died, and he had never claimed to be God or king in the first place.

The real God came to earth with private fanfare, unnoticed by all but the "unimportant." And it is exactly those, Luke indicates, that Jesus worked to save while he was on earth. With his death, he would make salvation available to all--even the "great," rich, and powerful of the earth, if they will humble themselves.

1 comment:

Susan Moore said...

But we belong to the new creation, so we don't read the headlines, we read the heavenlines. :-)
Here's one for you. Are you familiar with the Apocrypha book of 1 and 2 Estra (also noticed somewhere as 3 and 4 Ezra, I think)? A reference of sorts to Genesis 1:1-3, perhaps referring to creating from nothing.
In 1 Estra 6:38-41; "And I said, 'O Lord, you spoke from the beginning of the creation, even the first day, and said, 'Let heaven and earth be made: and thy word was a perfect work.
And then was the spirit, and darkness, and silence were on every side; the sound of man's voice was not yet formed.
Then commandedst thou a faire light to come foorth of thy treasures, that thy worke might appeare.'"
From my newly acquired 400th anniversary edition of the 1611 KJV.
And so, if the 7 other RC OT books are no longer available in Hebrew, for the most part, why am I learning Hebrew?