Let's Review

Sometimes, I think the church focuses too much on the New Testament. Jesus is great, and obviously the reason we exist as a church, but the true significance of Jesus—and everything he did, taught, and challenged—comes from the Old Testament. So before we begin Advent and celebrate the coming of a king, let’s review...

Starting back in the beginning. Just two chapters into the Bible, creation is immediately plunged into violence and corruption. And it escalatesquickly, as Adam and Eve are kicked out of the Garden of Eden, and their kids kill each other in the very next chapter. God tries flooding the earth to wipe out the corruption, but when that doesn’t work, he chooses the Jews, descendants of Abraham, to become his chosen people and help build a new world.

By the time we reach Christmas, the Jews have been through a lot. They were enslaved in Egypt. They were lost in the wilderness. They were guilty of being the oppressors with their own slaves In Jerusalem. They were exiled by the Babylonians, and turned to their prophets for inspiration. And when they finally returned to their homeland, they were occupied by the Romans—the most powerful military nation ever seen in its day.

The power of Christmas and the coming of Christ is rooted in everything the Jews had been through. Can you imagine the psyche of these people? These are people with hopes and dreams for the future, who believe they come from a great nation, yet nothing seems to go right for them. Enslaved, lost, guilty, exiled, and now occupied. This is the mentality that Jesus is born into.

So, as we consider the power of Christmas in our lives, it begs a few questions :

Where in your life have you experienced Egypt?(What has you enslaved? Where do you long for freedom?)

Where in your life have you experienced the wilderness?(Where do you feel lost? Where do you need to be found?)

Where in your life have you experienced Jerusalem? (Where are you guilty of hurting other? Where do you need to ask for forgiveness?)

Where in your life have you experienced Babylon?(When have you been exiled? Where do need inspiration again? )

Where in your life have you experienced Rome?(Where has your life been occupied? What do you need to be liberated from?)

I think we celebrate Christmas every year for a very important reason. We too, in 2019, are people of hopes and dreams. We too believe we come from a great nation. And yet, somedays, we look around and think, it has to get better than this. Our psyches need to be reminded that regardless of what we’ve been through, the mystery of Christ comes into our lives, to free us, find us, forgive us, inspire us, and liberate us, so that we may remember we were chosen to help build a new world.

Zach Herzog

*Join us in praying the Daily Texts.

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