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God with us

I’ve been reading the Message Bible recently for a fresh taste of God’s Word.  And, is God’s way and timing, today I started the book of Mark, as we prepare for Advent – the eager awaiting of Christ, Mark too was eager to share about His coming.

The good news of Jesus Christ—the Message!—begins here, following to the letter the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.

The notes introducing the Book of Mark include a powerful statement that strikes a tone in my heart today.

The bare announcement that God exists doesn't particularly qualify as news.  Most people in most centuries have believed in the existence of God or gods. It may well be, in fact, that human beings in aggregate and through the centuries have given more attention and concern to divinity than to all their other concerns put together - food, housing, clothing, pleasure, work, family, whatever.”

Oh, this is so evident, especially in these days.  We ebb and flow through life worried over trivial things alongside the looming large things, only to stop one day and consider there has to be more to this life…  And we look up and ask “Are you there?” “Do you care what I’m going through?” 

“But that God is here right now, and on our side, actively seeking to help us in the way we most need help - this qualifies as news. For, common as belief in God is, there is also an enormous amount of guesswork and gossip surrounding the subject, which results in runaway superstition, anxiety, and exploitation.”

 Oh, isn’t this so true?  We want to believe the news, but resist the whole of it.  And, sadly, if we don’t desire to get to know God for who He really is, who His Word says He is, we’re likely to believe anything we hear, or worse, feel.  We might begin to press God into a mold, into our own image and worship the making of our own hands.  Isn’t this what the Israelites did?  When God “seemed” far off, when they had no “connection” (through Moses) to Him, they did, as we do, in the flurry of feelings, they made a god they could control, ascribed their own attributes to.  The thing about the god we make – it’s merely an impotent idol, even if we do call it “God”.

“So Mark, understandably, is in a hurry to tell us what happened in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus - the Event that reveals the truth of God to us, so that we can live in reality and not illusion. He doesn't want us to waste a minute of these precious lives of ours ignorant of this most practical of all matters - that God is passionate to save us.”

God, the One True God, loves us so much He wanted to make Himself known to us, so we could know Him rightly, to make a way to spend eternity together!  So, He sent His one and only Son Jesus – the One all creation had been waiting for, so that we could have relationship through Him.  That’s not only news, it’s GOOD NEWS!    

 “There's an air of breathless excitement in nearly every sentence he (Mark) writes. The sooner we get the message, the better off we'll be, for the message is good, incredibly good: God is here, and he’s on our side.”

Oh, oh, breathless – Emmanuel – God with us. 


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