Summary: Jesus bridges the gap, and we are witnesses to this incredible miracle!
Love Found A Way: To Bridge The Gap
Intro: (video clip - intro scene in "The God’s Must Be Crazy")
But it wasn’t garbage that came from heaven, like it was in the video clip. It wasn’t the discarded leftovers casually tossed overboard, having fulfilled their usefulness and now needing the inconvenience of disposal.
And it wasn’t an accident.
It was God; in the flesh. It was God the Son, choosing, willing, to enter into all the frailty and fragility which is human existence.
He knew He would hurt. He knew He would hunger and thirst. He knew He would get dirty and smelly. He knew He would love and have His heart broken, though that would be nothing new. And He knew He would die. That would be something new. But, Love Found A Way.
We have spent this fall walking through the story of the early church in the book of Acts. We have seen the story of community – of authentic, Biblical community – in relationship. And we have been seeking to discover that in our own lives.
We have seen the resurrected Jesus – that now grown infant of Bethlehem – ascend into heaven and promise the power of the Holy Spirit. We have seen what happened to the community when the Spirit came – how they were empowered to love God and love one another in such a way that the entire city of Jerusalem was challenged and confronted by the love they saw. We have seen how followers of Jesus loved each other even with their cash – holding nothing back and refusing to watch others suffer when they had means to do something about it.
We saw what happened when the “establishment” was threatened – they reacted with violence and persecution. We saw what happened when barriers of culture and tradition were broken. And we saw what happened when God decided to change the heart of His fiercest opponent.
And do you know what theme emerges as I look back over Acts 1-9? Love Found A Way. It found a way to reunite the disciples and turn them into powerful witnesses. Love found a way to build true community, love found a way to overcome barriers, love even found a way to change the heart of Saul of Tarsus.
And just to wrap that story up, let me share Acts 9:31 “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.” There were good times, God kept working, His people matured and ministered, they were sailing with the wind.
And it began in Bethlehem.
God Joins Our Community:
As I think about our journey these last months, a journey of beginning to discover Biblical community, it is really about closing the gap between us – about coming closer to one another, discovering who we are and extending love and care and compassion. We have found that that takes time, it takes energy, sometimes it is difficult as we have to work through conflict and hurt feelings and unmet expectations. Essentially, being in community means that we are closer to one another, that we have built bridges based on a foundation of love and of care. Instead of being alone, isolated, adrift – in community we are together, connected, and grounded.
Our text for this morning, our first Sunday of Advent, is John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Word became flesh. God the Son became God the human. God joined our community, He bridged the gap that exists between us because of sin. Eugene Petersen puts it this way in his paraphrase, “The Message”: “The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.” That is a pretty good way to put it, it fairly accurately describes what happened. God moved into the neighbourhood.
CS Lewis once wrote, “Lying at your feet is your dog. Imagine, for the moment, that your dog and every dog is in deep distress. Some of us love dogs very much. If it would help all the dogs in the world to become like men, would you be willing to become a dog? Would you put down your human nature, leave your loved ones, your job, hobbies, your art and literature and music, and choose instead of the intimate communion with your beloved, the poor substitute of looking into the beloved’s face and wagging your tail, unable to smile or speak? Christ by becoming man limited the thing which to Him was the most precious thing in the world; his unhampered, unhindered communion with the Father.”