The Lord over all creation, coming as a fragile baby. The being to whom all forms of economy must submit, arriving impoverished according to each. He was 100% human, and yet 100% divine. His Truth so vast and containing all mysteries beyond our comprehension – and yet offered as the good news to all who would receive it.
Tension is something we don’t often live peaceably with. I’m not a great one to speak, as my wife could testify to. I feel tension enough to build up a small sweat when the cups are out of line in the kitchen cupboard. When we experience tension, our natural response is to do something to alleviate what is out of line. We cannot often hold two things in tension for very long, before the burden literally becomes too heavy for us to bear.
Yet, embodied tension seems to be the very way God comes to us in Christ Jesus. It’s beyond our comprehension. Jesus comes as Lord over all things, and yet it is not by His strength that the Kingdom is coming – but rather, his weakness. At least by any measures of power we’re familiar with. God lets down his guard, is completely vulnerable, and yet infinitely compelling.
He lives a life sourced in, and directed toward – God. He even declares toward the end of his time on earth, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18b) He doesn’t say “all authority will be given at some point down the road, so try your best to do what’s right and eventually I’ll come join you.” ALL authority in heaven AND on earth! Jesus is Lord over all things NOW. Yet, even in the midst of Christmas, if we allow ourselves to be honest….if we don’t put our holiday blinders on…
It doesn’t always seem like it.
People are killing people. Sons and daughters of God are dying because of hunger and thirst, while their brothers and sisters decide whether to get “Ranch” or “Cheddar” flavored chips, and turning down water for carbonated options. Human beings that are broken and sick are being denied medical care, while others are suing for millions over a bruise they acquired after slipping on a wet floor. Families will celebrate Christmas, thankful for all the time they get to spend together – and as part of the celebration they’ll give each other ways to be distracted from each other throughout the year ahead.
This is the world Jesus is Lord over even today? Already? Really??
As parents who want to announce that same truth to our children, that’s not always an easy pill to swallow. Especially if we’re the ones struck by a situation that seems awfully far from in the control of Jesus.
But every day, His Lordship is declared in small, human-shaped ways. Every week groups of people are growing more and more aware of how the Kingdom is lived out. Grace is offered. Sacrificial Love happens. Strangers are made welcome. The broken are made whole. Just as the Christ child comes quietly and humbly onto the scene, so we are invited to speak in still, small voices – “Jesus is Lord”.
It’s true, God loved us enough to let His image-bearers decide to make their own choices. As generations have come and gone, ignoring their creator, this world has continued to feel it’s impact. That is why Christ has come, and established His Lordship. We can now declare, in word and deed, that the crucified and resurrected Jesus is Lord. Now and already. Even in the face of unknown tomorrows. And as we do, we will find ourselves caught up in moments of that Kingdom coming.
What better time to start than now? Beyond the presents, food, and ambiguous holiday “cheer”….what would it look like for you to declare Christ and His ways as Lord this week? How might your family be moved to act, and what authority may need to be removed, for Him to take His proper place?
May we be agents of spreading this tension, announcing “Jesus is Lord” to a world that won’t know what to make of that announcement – and yet experiences the peace it brings…