Tuesday, December 24, 2013
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7 KJV)
I do not believe this painting – nor any other – truly captures the events of that evening in Bethlehem. However, I do believe that event occurred, and I believe the angel’s proclamation to shepherds:
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:10-14 KJV)
This is an irreconcilable difference in belief that puts me at odds with approximately two-thirds of the inhabitants of this world. I, and those who also believe, are a minority.
Oh, there are way more than two-thirds who believe He was born, that His philosophical views are worthwhile, for the most part and that He died because of religious fanatics who could not accept His ignorance of their beliefs. They do not believe in angels, either.
The irreconcilable difference is not the birth, not even the angelic proclamation. It isn’t His teachings of how to treat our fellow man. There have been great strides in civilization based on His definition of who our neighbor is, and how to forgive those who cause us harm. Much of that has been done by men who do not accept His purpose from birth – to die in order that our sinfulness might be reconciled with our Creator.
And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. (Mark 8:29-31 KJV)
We are no longer bound by this charge to His disciples. We have been given another, that they received after this prophecy was fulfilled:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20 KJV)
That is part of the irreconcilable difference between me and the majority of this world. I have someone with me, always, who has given a command that I desire to fulfill. He taught a lot, and I’m still learning. Please, come learn with me.