A Passage and A Prayer 12/14/18

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord; “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”  Isaiah 1:18  (ESV)

A few decades ago the Christian band Petra recorded what is called “The Coloring Song.”  Here are some of the lyrics:  “Red is the color of the blood that flowed Down the face of Someone Who loved us so. He’s the perfect man, He’s the Lord’s own son, He’s the Lamb of God, He’s the only one That can give us life, that can make us grow, That can make the love between us flow. . . And there’s just one God, and there’s just one Man That can give us life, that can make us grow That can make our sins as white as snow.”

The Gospel in colors: Sins are red.  The blood of Jesus is red.  And applied to our sins that blood makes us holy white.  Jesus had to be born, flesh and blood, to make that happen. 

Reality can be summarized with the color red.  Reality is that this world is messed up and so are we.  The Bible calls it sin and colors it red in Isaiah 1.  No amount of holiday celebration or sentimental songs can change that reality.  Own it.  Reality is that the solution to this world’s mess and our own guilt is, as the apostle John wrote, “The blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin.” Centuries of red blood sprinkled on an Old Testament altar testified to the sacrifice that the baby Jesus would endure to make forgiveness a reality.  No amount of seasonal depression or personal shame can change that reality.  Believe it.

Where do you see yourself in the Christmas story?  Maybe as one of the shepherds, common folk who heard and saw and told the story of salvation in the Christ-child’s coming.  Or maybe you’ve come to realize that your place in the Christmas story is that it was because of you that the Son of God became the baby Jesus.  You can feel terrible about that as you think about the poverty of Jesus’ birth and the pain of his death, all for you.  So repent of the sinful stuff that is perpetrated by your sinful nature; and then let go of that terrible feeling.  See, it was because of his love for you that Jesus came.  That’s your place in the Christmas story, the forgiven and treasured object of God’s love.  Hang onto that feeling in spite of bad days and nagging doubts, because that feeling is based on fact – the fact that the Son of God came at Bethlehem to redeem you; and he finished the story at Calvary and an empty tomb.

FAITH’S SONG: “No condemnation now I dread; Jesus and all in Him is mine!  Alive in Him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine.  Bold I approach the eternal throne, and claim the crown through Christ my own.  Amazing Love!  How can it be, that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”  (from the hymn “And Can It Be?”)

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