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Jesus the Almighty

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Romans 8:34
Jesus the Almighty Book Cover

When we think of Advent, all sorts of images pop up into our minds. For some of us, it might conjure up visions of glowing, multi-colored candles, crowned by wreaths made of pine branches or holly. For others of us, our minds think of 3-D countdown calendars that teach us patience is indeed a virtue, and one best developed by the daily promise of treats and goodies. And then for some, if we’re honest, Advent just wouldn’t be Advent without the seemingly endless nights spent sitting in front of our TVs—a bowl of popcorn resting on our laps; our favorite glass of something right beside us—watching too many all-too-predictable, warm-feels-stirring, slightly self- indulgent holiday movie marathons. Whatever they may be, we all have them: images we can’t help but associate with this very special time.

little lord Jesus

As Christians, our minds often conjure up one particular image around this season. One of a sweet, rosy-cheeked baby boy, wrapped in swaddling clothes (because around Christmastime, we also use words like swaddling clothes) nestled in his mother’s arms. We spend the weeks leading up to Christmas morning singing carols about silent nights and faraway mangers, brilliant stars and angels heralding in the night, all of which are meant to remind us that the “little Lord Jesus” has come.

The “little Lord Jesus,” who doesn’t cry when roused from his sleep by lowing cattle. The “little Lord Jesus” whose arrival we await with an anticipation only love and joy and wonder can inspire. And the “little Lord Jesus” who is nothing if not absolutely meek and perfectly mild.

And these images can be lovely. They connect us to happy memories of Christmases past and to the anticipation of Christmases yet to come. But the thing about the image of the “little Lord Jesus” so many of us have inherited from our parents or grandparents, church pageants, or made-for-TV movies is that it falls short of the image of Jesus we find in Scripture.

Yes, Scripture tells of a baby boy born on a night with a star and angels and magi and mangers. But we sometimes forget that those events were anything but peaceful. That little boy’s birth incited such fear in Herod, he ordered the extermination of all male children two years old and under, living in Bethlehem and the surrounding region (Matthew 2). So we can imagine that for a Jewish mother mourning the death of her little boy, the image of the “little Lord Jesus” would be hardly comforting.

The truth is, when we experience loss, disappointment, betrayal, shame, fear, the image of the “little Lord Jesus” doesn’t do much to comfort us either.

glorious jesus

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Hope Is Alive

Daily Question

When you think of Jesus, what do you imagine? Does the image of Jesus in your head match the revelation we find in Scripture? How would your Christmas be different if the image of the little Lord Jesus were replaced with the image of the Jesus seated at the right hand of God?

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Comments (4)

I can’t get the word Hope out of my mind this season. I wake up and I think, " the hope has come." Hope has arrived. Hope is coming again: in Jesus. I need that word right now. Hope in the crazy time.

He is the King of Glory! That is what I think of him. I enjoy the Christmas story of the baby in a manger. I love to read of his first coming. I am looking forward to his second!

As an adult this wouldn’t make a difference, but if I were a child, I think it would. I think children can relate and identifyy the image of Christ the child during Christmas because we are celebrating his birth.

I think the image of Jesus humbling himself, and being willing to come in human form as a baby is a precious gift. I believe that this image of Jesus is a way to be thankful for what he has done for us. It doesn’t lessen his power and might. It doesn’t lessen the fact that he rose from the grave, and is seated at the right hand of God. It is a time to remember how Jesus came to earth for us as a precious baby, born a virgin birth.

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