Friday, December 20, 2013

Sometimes size does matter...

Hebrews 2:11-18                                                                 
Since the children, as he calls them, are people of flesh and blood, Jesus himself became like them and shared their human nature. He did this so that through his death he might destroy the Devil, who has the power over death, and in this way set free those who were slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.      (verses 14-15)

I am always intrigued when magazines publish those lists of the most intriguing people of the year, the sexiest, the beautiful, the richest, or when Time chooses it’s  person of the year.  It has often struck me in reading these lists and articles, and then reflecting on what else I have read and watched in the media, how so many people, actors, sports persons, politicians, business people are presented as larger than life...richer, more successful, more beautiful, smarter, faster, more capable than the rest of the us.  I begin to wonder if maybe that isn't why we so love to read about their fall from grace...divorces, scandals, gossipy sort of dirt that gets published under the need to know banner.  It makes us feel that they are just like the rest of us.  It brings them down to our level.

In contrast to these larger than life people, I share with you this story. When my daughter was about 5 years old, she and I were walking to her Kindergarten one morning when she started talking about Jesus.  I don’t remember how the conversation started or even where it ended up.  However, in amongst the seemingly endless stream of questions, thoughts and comments that poured from her were these words.  "God is bigger than me, but Jesus is just my size.”

Some deep wisdom in those words. God is bigger than me. That’s why we cannot always fathom or understand or define what is his will and purpose at various times in our lives. God is bigger than me. So I am unable to contain him or control him or even define him clearly. God is bigger than me. So I need to recognize that there is a need for faith and trust in him, his Word and promise.  I like having such a big God.

At the same time, Jesus is just my size.  He didn’t drop from the clouds. He didn’t come in glory. He was born a baby in a small village. He grew and lived as a human being and experienced all of life just as you and I do.  All the feelings, thoughts, temptations, fears, even death. Nothing to separate him from you and me.  I like this, too. It reminds me that in Jesus God does know and understand every aspect of my life. He is aware of the daily struggles I face. He knows the fullness of my very human weaknesses. He has, in Jesus, experienced what it is to be a living, breathing person.

The writer to the Hebrews says, that Jesus did this in order to destroy death and the devil and to set us free from the power and fear of death.  No longer slaves to fear and death, but free for life and all its fullness. No longer under the power of death and the devil, but now living in the power of God and his grace at it comes to us in Jesus and through the working of the Holy Spirit.

How much God loves us.  How much God loves you. In Jesus, God enters our world to live with us, in us and through us always.  In Jesus there is acceptance, love, forgiveness and eternal life.  God did not come as some powerful super being or a divine deliverer wrapped in glory, The God who is bigger than us came to us in Jesus. The Jesus who is just our size. As a baby that became a child who grew into a man who then showed that there was nothing to fear because he died and rose to life again.

God is bigger than you. His grace extends beyond your imagining. His love embraces the whole of his creation. But all this and more he gives to you in Jesus. Jesus, who is just your size.