Tuesday, December 23, 2008

O Immanuel

O Immanuel,
our Sovereign and Lawgiver,
desire of the nations and Savior of all:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Come, Lord Jesus.

The final O Antiphon is a straightforward plea for salvation. For saving. Saving from what? The news relentlessly portrays a world out of alignment. There is a pervasive sense that something isn't right. We try to cover that feeling up with shopping, endless marketing carols, and blinding displays of decoration, anything that can aid the process of distraction from the real problem.


Sin separates us from God. Sin causes broken hearts, broken families, abuses of self and others, mind-blowing narcissism and idolatry. All of this can be traced to that first fall, that brokenness which we inherit by virtue of our humanity. This is the thing from which we need saving. And God has given us a Savior, even though we did not and do not deserve him. But because God created us, He loves us. So much so, in fact, that He offers us the only true gift that has ever been devised.

You see, the gifts that we give always invoke a need to reciprocate. You may surprised to receive a gift you did not expect. How do many people respond to such a gift? "You really shouldn't have," is the common reply. And right away the seed is planted to respond in kind at a later date.

Our so-called gift giving should be referred to as an exchange, because that is what it is.

The only true gift is one that isn't deserved. The only true gift is the one for which there is no possibility of reciprocation. And that is precisely the gift we receive in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, a little infant born in a manger.

Are you weary and tired? Are you stuck in some kind of sin that you think is insurmountable? Do you wonder if there could possibly be a way out of the trap of putting on the painted smile every day to evade notice that something inside is deeply out of sorts? Jesus Christ came for people just like you. That is the Good News. And as you read these words, it is my hope that the Holy Spirit will move upon you and open your heart to Jesus Christ, that you may be adopted into the new family of love and forgiveness by submitting to his Word in a baptism of water and of Spirit. It is my prayer that you will receive the true gift of eternal life with Him. Amen.

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