Kathy Bernard -
The word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen
the glory of the One and Only, Who came from the Father,
full of grace and truth. John 1:14
THERE was once a man who did not believe in either the virgin birth of Christ
or the spiritual meaning behind it, and was skeptical even about God. He and his
family lived in a farm community and his wife was a devout believer, diligently
raising her children in the faith. He sometimes gave her a hard time about her belief
and mocked her religious observances. "It's
all nonsense -- why would God lower himself and become a human like us? It's such a
ridiculous story," he said.
snowy day, the wife and children left for church while he stayed home. After they
had departed, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blinding snowstorm.
He sat down to relax before the fire. Then he
heard a loud thump, something hitting against the window... And, still another thump. He looked outside but could not see anything. So
he ventured outside for a better view. In the field near his house he saw the strangest
thing. It was a flock of geese. They were apparently flying to look for a
warmer area down south but they had been caught in the snowstorm. The storm had become too
violent for the geese to fly or see their way.
THEY were stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter, unable to do
more than flutter their wings. Helpless, with no sure direction, they could only fly
in useless circles. As the farmer watched their aimless flight, he felt
compassion for their plight and wanted to help the geese. He thought
to himself, the barn would be a great place for them to stay and it is warm and safe so surely they could
spend the night there and wait out the storm. So he opened the barn doors wide for
them to enter.
waited, watching them carefully from a distance, hoping they would notice the open barn
and go inside. Nevertheless, they did not notice the barn or realize what it could
mean for them. He moved closer toward them to get their attention but they just moved
away from him out of fear.
went into the house and came back with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread
trail to the barn. They still did not catch on. Starting
to get frustrated, he went over and tried to shoo them toward the barn but they
panicked and scattered into every direction except toward the barn.
Nothing he did could
get them to go into the barn where they would be safe.
'WHY don't they follow me?" he puzzled. "Can't they see this is the
only place where they can survive?"
HE thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human.
"If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud.
SUDDENLY he had an idea. He went into the barn, got one of his own geese, and
carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. When he
released his goose, it flew through the flock and straight into the safety of the barn.
ONE by one the other geese followed it to safety. He stood silently for a moment as the words he had
spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: "If
only I were a goose, then I could save them!" Then he thought about what he had said
to his wife.
winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and he pondered this wonderful
thought. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished with the passing storm. He fell to his
knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: "Thank You, God, for coming in human
form to get me out of the storm!" Now it
all made sense. That is what God had done for mankind.
BEFORE the Lord came to us, we were like the geese in this story, blinded by the
snowstorms of life, perishing under the heaviness of sin and suffering. And like the
geese, we were stumbling in the chaos of a broken world, looking for sanctuary, looking
for joy, looking for peace in a world gone wild. We needed shelter from our pain, our
sufferings, our disillusionment, and our struggles. We needed a retreat; a safe
harbor. We needed something to hold onto, an anchor, a reason for the madness of this
life. We needed hope.
BECAUSE we were spiritually lost, we could not see God's footpath to
shelter. We could not recognize the goodness of God nor understand why He even
cared. Because of sin, we could not hear His voice calling out to us. But God
Who loves us unconditionally and faithfully, Who never gives up on us, saw our need and
made a plan for mankind to come and live with Him forever. He sent a Savior.
JESUS became a man just like
us, but without our sinful nature. Leaving His eternal home, He put on the cloak of
humanity, wrapped Himself in pain and suffering, and bore the burdens of earthly
man. He did not care what the elders in the synagogue were whispering about Him, for
His Almighty Father had given Him a job to do. In spite of the threats and scorn of
the crowds, and bearing the stain of shame and degradation heaped upon Him, He moved
forward with the message His Father gave Him to bring to you and to me. He had no
time to spend worrying about what others thought for He had a Divine promise of eternity
for all who would listen, something that would bring us through the gates of heaven.
He knew what the outcome of His actions would be, but that did not stop Him, He pushed
ahead, facing the slings and arrows of those who refused to accept Him and wanted Him
dead. He paid the price no innocent man should pay by giving up His life for
us. For only He and He alone could carry the cross and be the means by which God
provided salvation and the forgiveness of sins.
GOD demands atonement for our sin, an atonement no imperfect human can
ever pay. Only an infinite and perfect being could do this so Jesus paid our debts when He was nailed to the cross,
and through the shedding of His blood, paid for all who accept and believe in Him. He
became the sacrificial lamb to help us overcome our struggles against the ignorance and
darkness of evil with its final consequences. Through His crucifixion, God received and
accepted full satisfaction and restitution for our disobedience and injury done to Him by
our sinful behavior.
LIKE the farmer who opened his barn doors wide so the geese might be saved,
Almighty God has opened up the doors to His kingdom if I choose to follow the teachings of
Jesus. If I believe that I can enjoy the shelter of God's everlasting eternity that
the Lord Jesus secured for me, I will enjoy God's fullest promises forever. Though I may
be torn and tattered by life and beaten down by sin, it is when I accept and believe in
Jesus as Lord, that His sacrifice makes me clean and worthy to enter into
paradise. It is then that I will no longer be liable for the sentence of eternal
punishment at the final judgment.
YES, Jesus came just like us, to give an infinite gift that is still new,
still shining and still valid today as it was over two thousand years ago.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that
the world through him might be saved." John 3:16-17
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