Archive for January 2019

Joy in Lowliness

Jesus is God coming among us in lowliness. As God he moves towards us even though we are far from him. He gives himself freely to us even though who do not want him. Jesus even makes our sin and shame his own. He exists within the holy and joyful communion with his Father in the Spirit; but he wants to co-exist with others who are not God and far from God. And it doesn’t seem to make him miserable to lower himself in this way. No! The Lord finds great pleasure and joy in coming to us in lowliness. How could it not bring him joy? He is becoming the one he always wanted to be.

So the one who finds great pleasure within the triune communion finds pleasure in coming among us in lowliness. And as he stoops lower and lower towards the lowest place of all his pleasure does not dim. Rather, it was for the joy set before him that he endured the cross. He was glad that we would share in the pleasure of the his fellowship with the Father in the Spirit.

There are so many beautiful things in God’s world that are given for our pleasure. But we were created to enjoy the beauty of triune communion as our highest pleasure. That’s why the Father’s Son gives himself to us and for us. He wants us to enjoy the beauty of Triune life with him as we share his fellowship with the Father. And when his Spirit enables us to see how he has freely given himself to us in love we are drawn into his pleasure.

True to himself

When the exalted Lord became lowly for us he was doing what he promised all along.  He always said he would be with us.  And in Jesus, he is with us in a way we never dreamed possible.  He is actually joins himself to us as one of us.  This makes him faithful to us.

But when the exalted Lord stoops so low he isn’t only faithful to us. He is also faithful to himself. He becomes the one he always wanted to be.  Before God created anything or anyone the Son was appointed to be one of us.  In this way God would be with us in him and we would be with God in him.  God freely decided to bind himself to us.  And he freely decided to bind us to himself.  He determined himself to be ours and for us to be his.  This is what he resolved to be in Jesus before he even created us.

God’s eternal purpose became actual in time when the Holy Spirit brought into existence the unique person who is both God and man in union.  Now, in Jesus, God is the one he always wanted to be.  We actually see in the Jesus’ story God being true to himself, true to who he always wanted to be – one with us as one of us. For God’s eternal decision is that God and humanity should be together in union and for communion.


Lowly Majesty

Isaiah spoke about the future day when a voice would cry out in the wilderness, “prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God… And the glory of the Lord will be revealed”.

Eventually, the Lord himself came.  He was right there in our world.  And his glory was revealed as the lowly Jesus.   He was so lowly he did not stand out at all. 

People did not say, WOW!  Look at his splendour and majesty!  No, he was ordinary. 

This is the high and holy one who not only turns towards us but in doing so stoops down to us.  And stoops so very low.  Yes, the Lord of glory is exalted higher than we can ever imagine.  Nevertheless, when he became one of us he stooped lower than we can ever express. 

This lowly man is the revelation of the Lord’s majesty and glory.  But we so easily miss the majesty of God in his lowliness.  We see the majesty as one thing and the lowliness as another.  So when considering his majesty we are looking for something resplendent, awesome, and stunning.  Well, this lowliness is stunning!  We see that our God is so great that he is capable of becoming lowly.  And he does not humble himself in spite of the fact that he is God, but because he is God.  For our God always wanted to be God with us as one of us stooping to the lowest place in order to lift us to the highest place.

God makes himself known

As people move into the new year some resolve to do better in the new than they did in the old.  For us, that may mean resolving to know God better for true life is found in ever deeper fellowship with Father and Son in the Spirit.  And so we resolve to seek God.  We must always be aware, however,  that it is God who moves towards us making himself known. We may say that we want fellowship with God, but he wants fellowship with us more than we want fellowship with him.  And so he makes himself known to us and in us through Jesus and his Spirit. “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (2 Cor.4:6). At the very centre of our being, the Spirit lights up the face of Jesus in living encounter.  And in that beautiful face we see the radiance of God.

God moves out of his own fullness making himself known more and more as the living Jesus encounters us again and again in the Spirit.  That means we do not create our own knowledge of God.  And we certainly cannot make knowledge of him our own possession.  He wants to be known.  He makes himself known encountering us as the living God who always surpasses our knowing.  Let us then fix on God’s resolve to enjoy fellowship with us and always be attentive and responsive to his revealing love.