10-14 Midweek Musing
I think it was around the holidays last year when I was in the mall waiting on one of my girls to find the perfect dress when a gentleman approached me and called me by name. It was clear he knew me. He asked about my family, my wife, my kids, my job, and….
And I had no clue who this person was! I mean none whatsoever.
I answered his questions politely. I said it was so good to see him, that it had been too long. And all the while my brain was searching through its file folders…church connection… school… college…grad school… teaching…. coaching…former neighbor…. family friend…long lost relative….
I tried to imagine him without the facial hair, but it wasn’t helpful.
Just when I was about to embarrass myself by asking who he was his son came up and said, “Hey Dad, there you are. Can we go to the food court now?”
In that moment I knew exactly who it was. His son was him “made over.” The face and hair, the walk and talk, the mannerisms and stature, they all distinctly pointed to his relationship as this man’s son. I was amazed that simply the appearance of the son allowed me to be able to identify the father.
The writer of Hebrews begins his epistle by declaring that Jesus is indeed the Son of God and God’s reflection on Earth. That God had sent prophets to try to share who God was but now had sent Jesus Christ to show us God’s nature.
“Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:1-3a
Often, we in the church are asked by a skeptical world – “who is God?” “Or what is God like?” Or we hear from those who do not believe that they “cannot believe in something they can’t see.”
Or the opposite view is expressed to us about a belief in a higher spiritual power or energy but not in a being who is involved in the affairs of you and me. Often it is expressed with the statement “I am spiritual but not religious.”
Anytime I am confronted with these questions, or anytime I have my own doubts about God or God’s faithfulness or God’s nature, I am reminded that I only need to look at God’s son to know who God is and what God is like.
That it is, by looking at the incarnate one, and his birth, life, ministry, sacrificial death and resurrection that we discover God.
Jesus is the key to our faith. He is the essential link for declaring who we are and to whom we belong.
As the great missionary J. Oswald Sanders said in one of the 40 books he wrote in his lifetime:
“If Jesus is not God, then there is no Christianity, and we who worship Him are nothing more than idolaters. Conversely, if He is God, those who say He was merely a good man, or even the best of men, are blasphemers. More serious still, if He is not God, then He is a blasphemer in the fullest sense of the word. If He is not God, He is not even good.”
Or as Dietrich Bonhoeffer so powerfully proclaims, “If Jesus Christ is not true God, how could he help us? If he is not true man, how could he help us?”
Yet Jesus is indeed God and Lord, and as the Son, he points us to God even more clearly than that young man did for me in that shopping mall.
As the amazing hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette shares in one of her hymn’s so beautifully:
“You are Messiah, you are Christ, Anointed One, God's sacrifice. In you, God's mercy is revealed: We're saved from sin, forgiven, healed.”1
Thanks be to God for God’s son and the savior of humanity – Jesus who is the Christ. Alleluia. Amen.