647) Karl Marx, George Orwell, and Jesus (part two)

        (continued…)  We can imagine what George Orwell gave up to enter the lives of the poor in London and Paris in the 1930’s.  He gave up comfort, he gave up a good job, he gave up regular meals, he gave up a warm place to sleep, he gave up a respected place in society, he gave up safety and security, he gave up his friends and family for a time, and, it turned out, he gave up several years of his life.  We know what it is to have those things, and we can imagine, at least in part, what a great sacrifice it would be to willingly give them up.

     But we have no experience at all of heaven, and therefore we have no idea what it meant for Christ to leave heaven in order to enter our world and our lives for 33 years.  Hebrews 1:1 (below) says that the whole universe was created through Christ, and he chose to come to this little speck of dust, this little earth; and here become a tiny human being, putting himself in the care of two human beings.  Later in life, he would endure the misunderstanding and the mistreatment of most of the people he met.  Jesus would endure their desertion, and betrayal, and then their fists and spit and whips, and then the nails and the cross.  And then, he would face even death.  Jesus gave up his exalted position in heaven to endure all that for us.

     Karl Marx showed no such desire to give up his position to get to know those he wanted to help.  It was said of Karl Marx that he wanted to help mankind in general, but he had little love or concern for individual persons.  Jesus showed his love for both.  He died to forgive the sins of all humankind; and before that, he lived a life on this earth with other people, getting to know individual persons; and then he willingly endured all the heartache that always brings to anyone.

     God, in Christ, entered our lives in order that we might live eternally like him, with him, in his home.

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For a wonderful portrayal of this message of God becoming a human, go to the website below to see a story of God’s decision to visit his creation, as told by the children of St. Paul’s Church in Auckland, Australia.  The children are cute, and the words and theology behind the words are brilliant.  Don’t miss this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM1XusYVqNY

Here is the story of Jesus birth by the same kids:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWq60oyrHVQ

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Hebrews 1:1-2  —  In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son, through whom he made the whole universe.

John 11:35-36  —  Jesus wept.  Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”

John 6:38  —  (Jesus said),  “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.”

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O God, who hast proven Thy love for mankind by sending us Jesus Christ our Lord, and hast illumined our human life by the radiance of his presence, I give Thee thanks for this Thy greatest gift.

For my Lord’s days upon the earth;

For the record of his deeds of love;

For the words he spoke for my guidance and help;

For his obedience unto death;

For his triumph over death;

For the presence of His spirit with me now;

I thank Thee, O God.

Grant that the remembrance of the blessed life that was once lived out on this common earth under these ordinary skies may remain with me in all the tasks and duties of this day.  Let me remember:

His eagerness, not to be ministered unto, but to minister;

His sympathy with suffering of every kind;

His bravery in the face of his own suffering;

His meekness of bearing, so that, when reviled, He reviled not in return;

His steadiness of purpose in keeping to his appointed task;

His simplicity;

His self-discipline;

His serenity of spirit;

His complete reliance upon Thee, His Father in heaven.

And in each of these ways give me grace to follow in His footsteps.

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I commit all my ways unto Thee.  I turn over my soul to Thy keeping.  I pledge my life to Thy service.  May this day be for me a day of obedience and of charity, a day of happiness and of peace.  May all my walk and conversation be such as becometh the gospel of Christ.  Amen.

John Baillie, Diary of Private Prayer, 1949; Sixth Day, Morning.

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