Guest Author: Joel Bruerd – Christmas Thoughts

It seems like everyone is (appropriately) taking time to jot down some Christmas thoughts or some advent reflections.  While I’ve had a few cross my mind, I just haven’t had the time to sit down and properly develop them.  However, my good friend, Joel Bruerd, sent these thoughts out this afternoon and they resonated deeply with me.  He was kind enough to let me repost them here…I hope you’ll take a few moments to let our unseen God speak to you…

“Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, goodwill to all.”

Here is a slice of an idea…  (no, it’s not a volcano)

advent

Last night I was up to my elbows in oil-y pastels exercising the right side of my brain.  It’s a relatively easy art-form.  For those whose last art class was as a teenager, pastels make a nice re-entry medium for impressionistic sorts of smudges.  Blobs, shapes and smears seem to be the most fun so far.  One drawback is that the colors don’t mix well.
That’s what photoshop is for.

Christmas this year has impressed me with a particular thought and I’ve tried to capture part of the idea with art.  My imagination can run but here’s the thought.

If the physical universe was a sphere, and the unseen heavenly sphere had a plan in the works, then I imagine the day of Advent to be the result of a multi-millenia pregnancy of anticipation.  At least, I wonder if that’s why the sky filled with so many angels right after the mention of “the good news of great joy.”  Of course then, it means that all this is really a thought about Jesus.

It seems there is a sphere of things that can be seen.  And the usual is just the usual.  But once in a while, the unseen gives us a glimpse that something is going on backstage.

On this particular night of the usual, there was quiet and the two spheres seemed separate.  The shepherds were doing their thing.
But God had a smirk on his face, like the Mona Lisa.  And probably the angels took bets on whether or not the hour had come.

Just how long had they waited?  Centuries of promises.  Covenants.  Wars.  Invasions.  Misunderstood laws.  Rebellion.  Unbelief.  Fear. Death.
She began to show.

And something snapped in the space-time continuum.  Critical mass had been reached.  The Mona Lisa winked.

Whoever got to deliver the message to those shepherds must have freaked out.  It was the wildest, most exciting news, of great joy, and it was for everyone.

“In the town of David…a baby…Christ…manger.”

If only we could see just how important that baby was.  The townspeople “wondered” (whatever that means…) at what the shepherds told them, but the angels didn’t “wonder.”  They “rejoiced.”  Which is a term that is never read with the same enthusiasm as those who did it.  But I wonder if at the mere mention of those words “unto you is born a savior,” the other angels just couldn’t take it anymore and that small glitch between the seen and unseen just ripped open as a sky of God’s messengers poured out into the visible.  An angelic uproar with all heaven on their feet, hands in the air, eyes pointing to God.

How they’d been waiting for so long…… !

Take a look at the picture at the top of this post.  This is how I see the story read from the book of Luke about angels and a baby.

advent22

Artists are always misunderstood and not everyone believes angels so let me tell you what I’m saying.

I’m saying that the picture at the bottom of this email is what the angels were trying to tell us.  Not that some great thing was lighting up the sky…
…but that a greater thing was in a stable.

Luke 10:10  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid (perfect love casts out all fear).  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.  

I thank God today for a savior who did not hold on to heaven but made Himself nothing.

Merry Christmas
Joel (for the both of us)

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