Table of Good (1/5/17)

Pastor Mario R. Padilla · Wednesday, January 4, 2017
I write this on Thursday, December 15, 2016. It is the Advent Season. We anticipate the coming of Jesus. We look forward to Christmas when we celebrate His Birth. We look ahead to the beginning of a New Year, 2017.

In the Bible we read in the book of Galatians (4: 4, 5). When the fullness of the chronos time had come God sent His Son, Jesus. He was born of a woman, Mary. He was born under the law as one of us. He was sent. He came to redeem us. To give to us the adoption as children of God, God’s Greatest Gift.

The Greatest Gift of all was given to humanity over 2,000 years ago by God. To us, Jesus is the Greatest Gift of all. He came to us as one of us. Wrapped in human flesh, He came on a mission.

He came to save us from the mess we have made of it all. From sin, from evil, from our fallenness. Jesus came to restore the good, to us, in us, through us.

This past Sunday we went with the CYG (Community Youth Group) to a Newsboys concert at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.

Michael Tait sang a song that we also sing in CYG and in our worship services. It is called “We Believe”.

It states, “In this time of desperation, when all we know is doubt and fear. There is only one foundation. We believe. In this broken generation, when all is dark you help us see. There is only one salvation. We believe. We believe. We believe in God the Father. We believe in Jesus Christ. We believe in the Holy Spirit and He’s given us new life. We believe.” We all sang along. We all believed. We do believe. There is Love. There is Hope. There is Salvation. There is Good. When we receive the Gift of Jesus we receive the Gift of Life. Eternal Life, Everlasting Life, Abundant Life in the midst of the mess. We see the Good. We have the Good. We can live the Good and Beautiful Life.

We can do this. We can live this Good, Beautiful, Abundant Life when we receive the Life of the Good – of Jesus.

Even while we live in the midst of the pain and the suffering. Here where people die. Where cancer strikes. Where there is evil. Where there is hate. Where families divide, where people hurt other people. Where people alienate from God, from each other, from themselves, and from the good and beautiful creation of God. Where the presence and good and beauty of God is everywhere if we are only given the ears to hear, the eyes to see, the mind to know, the heart to love.

We can have all this when we receive the Great Life of Jesus. This is what Christmas is all about.

I am married to a dancer, a dance teacher. In our house there is always music and dance. As I was jogging inside on the treadmill (it was -14 degrees outside!) Cindy was playing a song which I first heard on “The Voice”. I asked her to copy the lyrics for me.

The song is named “Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara.

She sings these words: She just wants to be beautiful. She goes unnoticed, she knows no limits. She craves attention. She praises an image. She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor…. Did you hear her? There is a Sculptor. There is a Potter. We are the clay. We are the sculptures. Who molds us? Who shapes us? Life, the World, the Culture, the Systems…God.

Paul writes in the Bible in the book of Romans – “Do not be conformed to this fallen world system.” Jesus came to save us from all these fallen world systems. So he can mold us, shape us, form us to be the people he meant us to be. We were meant to be Good and Beautiful people made in the Image of the Creator.

May we each receive the gift this Christmas. As we look ahead at 2017, may we all live the life the Creator meant for us to live. Let it be “A Wonderful Life” because it can be for all of us.

Every one of us.
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