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We've Been Invaded (published in The North Weld Herald 12/25/08)

posted Sep 7, 2013, 1:14 PM by Fccea Webmaster
We've been invaded! Not always a welcome message. But there is a major exception.

Matthew was a tax collector in his first career. But he became a follower of Jesus Christ. Years later, he began his written recollections with the birth of Jesus and made this commentary in Matthew 1:22-23: "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet [Isaiah]: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us)."

This is the testimony of a hardened business man who lived three years in closest proximity with this Jesus -- walked, talked, dined and lived with him. Somewhere along the line he became convinced that he was seeing God in the flesh. When did that light dawn for Matthew? We don't know for sure. He probably didn't understand the full ramifications until after Jesus' death and resurrection. But he knew he had witnessed something unprecedented -- God invading human history -- and he knew that made a demand on his life, one that according to tradition led to his death as a martyr, so strongly did he believe in what he had witnessed. If God has entered history, does it have meaning to us as well?

The country schoolhouse I attended was about a mile away from our Nebraska farm when I started kindergarten. I was in high spirits heading toward school that first day, but I hadn't gone far before I realized the dangers lurking. I had seen our neighbor's black angus bull get out of his pasture and attack our cattle. Now the prospect of meeting that bull all alone on that country lane was all that occupied my mind. Soon my five-year-old legs were churning at full speed -- only I was headed home, not toward school! Minutes later, however, my fears were non-existent as I headed back down that road. Why? Because walking beside me was the strongest, bravest man I knew -- my dad.

In a far greater way, God's invasion of our world in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, can provide, through his substitutionary death and resurrection, concrete relief from the anxiety, guilt, sin and alienation that pervades human existence. We do not have to go on being our own god any longer (the essence of sin). The true God has come and offers eternal life and constant care to anyone who will trust their life to Him.

To me the saddest verse in the Bible is John 1:11: "He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him." Thankfully, John goes on: "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."

Merry Christmas is when He invades our personal history -- bringing life and peace to all who will accept His gift.

That's what I wish each of you -- Merry Christmas!

By His Grace, Pastor Dave