Tuesday, December 22, 2015

LSB 357 Desire of Nations

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

Public domain

Ephesians 1:9-10
making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Peace on Earth and Unity in Christ: A Scandal

Every few months, I drop in on Atheist websites to review the various logical arguments against the existence of God and of the cosmic role of Jesus in the universe. I do this because invariably these same arguments come up in random social situations between 6 and 24 months later. It usually depends on when they are trotted out on the comedy circuit and everyone's favorite Atheist, Bill Maher of HBO.

By reviewing the material on the Atheist website, I figure I am gaining some thinking time so that I am not surprised, a little sleep because I don't have to stay up late to see Bill for myself, and several bucks because I don't have to pay for cable.

God should be more concerned about Evil

While the first round of material claims to show how Theistic arguments are not reasonable, and another batch of material is aimed directly at straw men attacking things that Christians do not actually claim, the majority of Atheism amounts to the “Bruce Almighty” argument. Since God is omnipotent and loving, Evil should not exist.

A God who is all-powerful and all-loving, but still confines Himself to acting in Jesus just doesn't compute. God's methods discount His existence or at least His truthfulness. But then as the Christian message progresses Christians share that God has every intention of doing away with Evil; God intends to send Evil to hell and separate it from His people forever.

OK, then God should be more concerned about other people's Evil

The Atheist argument puts the blame for all Evil at God's doorstep because God didn't prevent it, but when God says He is going to act to wipe out Evil, God is unfair because that includes people and may very well mean me, too. God's definitions of Good and Evil are all messed up. God stops talking ethics. God stops talking morality. We would like them to be our towers of Babel reaching us into heaven to crash God's party. The Father just sits back and says, “So what do you think about My Boy, Jesus.” Now God is not fair, because he is just thinking too small. God counts as Good whatever is united to the resurrected Christ, full stop.

So what's a Good, Loving, Omnipotent God to do with people who want an end to Evil, but who refuse to admit that they are just as much a part of the problem as everyone else?

Let's crucify God all over again
God answers by taking the blame Himself. OK, you want to take all your anger out on me? Go ahead, here I AM: manger, poverty, rejection, trial, cross, death. He puts everyone who wants to stand in their own righteousness to shame, dies to the whole enterprise of tallying up the good and the bad, dumps all the spiritual file cabinets supposedly taking up space behind the pearly gates, and lifts up a cross over the world and calls the world to know, trust, love, and follow Him. God stops trying to convince and just calls, and wouldn't you know it, He gets crucified all over again for that, too.

Peace in Christ

The peace of God that passes all human understanding is located specifically in Christ. But, just so we won't miss it, God wraps the Prince of Peace up in swaddling clothes and puts Him in a manger. That way, we won't confuse Him with all the other noise distracting us from Him.

We are one year farther from Bethlehem and one year closer the New Heavens and the New Earth. We will have all the existentialist and empirical evidence we ever wanted.

Colossians 1:13-17
13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Preeminence of Christ

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Matthew 1:21, 23
"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel”
(which means, God with us).

351 Creator of the Stars of Night
Creator of the stars of night,
Thy people’s everlasting Light:
O Christ, Redeemer, save us all
And hear Thy servants when they call.

Thou, grieving that the ancient curse
Should doom to death a universe,
Hast found the healing, full of grace,
To cure and save our ruined race.

Thou cam’st the Bridegroom of the bride,
As drew the world to eventide,
The spotless Victim all divine
Proceeding from a virgin shrine.

At whose dread name, majestic now,
All knees must bend, all hearts must bow;
All things celestial Thee shall own,
And things terrestrial, Lord alone.

O Thou, whose coming is with dread
To judge the living and the dead,
Preserve us from the ancient foe
While still we dwell on earth below.

To God the Father and the Son
And Holy Spirit, Three in One,
Praise, honor, might, and glory be
From age to age eternally. Amen.

Public domain