christmas

It's in Our Nature

I remember seeing news stories about “The Miraculous Journey,” a massive 14-piece sculpture by Damien Hirst, when it was unveiled in 2013 in Doha, Qatar. I was amazed at the scale of this public dialogue tool, chronicling the development of the unborn from fertilization to birth. (I thought, “I wish everyone could see this. It would be sure to get people talking.” Indeed, you can use this link to Penny Yi Wang’s photos of the sculpture to get people talking!) Shortly after its unveiling, the sculpture was covered, and it mysteriously remained covered for about five years.

Just last month, though, the sculpture was “born again” and is now back on public display. It illustrates the nature of the early human being at work. His human nature moves him from comfortable dependence on his mother’s womb out into the harsh realities of a foreign world, and his human nature enables him to confront those challenges.

At this time of Christmas, we’re reminded of how the Son of God, possessing the divine nature as the second person of the Trinity, took on that same human nature and “lived in it” with perfection, as human life was meant to be lived. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, our human nature has been made new by faith:

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (II Cor. 5:17-21)

The Son of God took on a second nature to save us, and now a new set of activities can become “second nature” for us. Just as the nature of the early human enables him to accomplish all of his activities, our new nature enables us to bring the word of reconciliation as Christ’s ambassadors to lost people operating in an old nature based on old things.

As we celebrate Jesus this Christmas and come into the harsh realities of a new year, with all of its challenges to the smallest humans on earth and to women distressed by unintended pregnancy, this is our prayer for ourselves and for you:

“Loving Father, through Your Son Jesus you gave us a new nature to love and serve you. We trust you will strengthen us to live according to this new nature, as we seek to bring the word of reconciliation to every human being involved in unintended pregnancies.”

Thank you for partnering with us to help Christians discover the abilities of this new God-given nature through practical dialogue training. It is a joy to see them extend the word of reconciliation to those who so desperately need it.

Six Christmas Reflections

For an explanation, see my 2013 Christmas Reflection,  "Tech-Getherness?"

For an explanation, see my 2013 Christmas Reflection, "Tech-Getherness?"

A few days ago, I posted, "A Person Is a Wonder," the sixth in a series of Christmas reflections in which I think about the meaning of the Incarnation of the Son of God as I share some of my family's Christmas joys (like The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and Amahl and the Night Visitors) and my personal conversations on college campuses.  Here's a list of all six reflections: