wceu: December 21, 2012
Merry Christmas from World's Christian Endeavor Union!
“For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, 'I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'” (Isaiah 57:15)
God is high and holy: this is what Christmas speaks us about. The Son of God left the high and holy place called heaven and came into our world. But look, His mother, a simple maiden from Judah had no influential spouse, who could arrange to be exempted of all the annoyance the census caused to them: of the long travel and lack of proper accommodation. No, He was not to be found in the “highest possible” place where the wise men looked for Him, in the royal palace of Herod. The experts of the “holy place”, the Temple of Jerusalem, were not excited enough about the fulfillment of the prophecies to join the wise men of the East in their search for the newborn king. What is more: whatever could have been considered “high and holy” in Jerusalem, seemed to be hostile to the One, who's heavenly dwelling place with all its highness and holiness was supposed to be mirrored in them. No, Jesus didn't come in this world to dwell in the safety and comfort this world could offer to him. The highness and holiness of the place He left was of a different kind.
The holiness and highness of God separates Him and even His Son (“a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens” - Hebrews 7:26) from sinners. Yet God in His love didn't suffer any more this separation. Indeed, He was the first “contrite”, His heart was broken first because of this separation. Christmas and all what follows of it, tells us, that God in Jesus became human, to end this separation of the holy God and fallen, sinful mankind.
He came into this world to reveal the real meaning of God's highness and holiness by dwelling with the “contrite and lowly in spirit”: with sinners, outcasts or people just considered unimportant. His “dwelling” with them made Him seem to be one of them, “a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” (Mt 11:19), as His opponents liked to accuse Him. Becoming a man, a friend of sinners, Jesus humiliated himself. By this He conveyed to the people around Him this message: “You don't need to prove yourself 'high and holy' in order to be accepted by God. You may come as you are. If your heart is broken because of being separated from God by your sins, I came to separate you from sin and unite you with God again, lifting you up to the dignity of being His own child.”
Thus the cross of Jesus, foreshadowed by all His humiliation and suffering for which He became flesh, became the meeting point of God, The Most High and Holy and of sinful and needful people, then and now. The place of reviving the spirit of those who are oppressed, depressed, downtrodden by their own sins and faults and by hostile circumstances.
We are called to testify Christ's condescending holiness and love to this fallen world by words, conduct and our service to those, whose hearts are broken and whose spirit is low because of their separation from God. Let the power of His voluntary humility enable us to fulfill our calling.
Rev. Kálmán Adorján President WCEU
Rev. Andreas A. Rudolph General Secretary of WCEU
December 21, 2012, 14:00 h by by Kálmán Adorján, President.