Romans 8:1-4, Isaiah 61:1-7
Josiah Parr considers what our responsibility is in responding to what Jesus has done
The birth of Jesus was more than just a significant moment in history, where God came to earth. It announced into the atmosphere that change had come. 2013 years on, we celebrate that change, but do we actually see it?
A few years ago you might remember that there was a movement called Occupy Wall Street and there was a bunch of crazy people who believed that they could change the financial industry in America. So they got together, they camped out for weeks outside Wall Street in order to effect a change. Long after the news cycle have ended, the crazy people who believed they could make a significant change are still there waiting for change to come.They had to do more than just announce that change had come, they had to occupy that change, they had to live in that change.
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.
God made it personal by sending His only Son. I believe that is what God is asking us to do today. There has to be more then an invitation to a church event or doing your bit by supporting the Christmas offering. God wants us to get involved in the announcement and implementation of His kingdom.
What is it that we are called to announce and implement?
Announce Freedom to All Captives
The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me
because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace-
a celebration of God's destruction of our enemies-
and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them "Oaks of Righteousness"
planted by God to display his glory.
They'll rebuild the old ruins,
raise a new city out of the wreckage.
The job is massive. The good news for us is that God has sent us His Holy Spirit.
Christmas announces a change unlike the world has ever seen before and for many that change is still to come to their neighbourhood. That we would be, as the Church of God, able to walk into places where the poor and broken hearted are, to be able to show them the love and compassion of God; to be able to meet their needs.
We are called to a movement that isn't to occupy one street, but to occupy ALL streets. God poured out His Spirit onto us as His people, in order that we can occupy and live in that change.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
View all Life Files by Josiah Parr