My pastor surprised me with an opportunity to share for a few minutes with several other saints at tonight's Christmas Eve service on, "What we can give to Jesus?" WooHoo! I'll put my thoughts together here.
The song Mary (name changed) shared with us yesterday really moved me. Singing to us how God had a beating, human heart was beautiful. God gambled the fate of the universe on a simple human heart beating against every ploy of Satan, every curse of the fall, and every random chance that can stop it. It's a scary thought, but the human heart must be a pretty amazing thing if God was willing to invest so much in one. And it's still beating today at the right hand of the Father.
Jeff has asked what we can give to God, after He has given so much to us. After Jesus suffered so much for us, and overcame. When all the cattle of a thousand ranches are His, and we can do nothing that He did not do better, what can we give Him?
We can answer His prayer requests.
We know Jesus' prayer requests. We know what He prayed, and we know He wanted us to keep praying for the same things after He left.
Jesus prayed that we would know His Father. He prayed that His name would be treated as a holy thing in all the Earth, and that His kingdom - His church - would come to Earth. He prayed that the will of God would be done here, and that His children would receive daily bread, find forgiveness from sins, and be protected from temptation.
Jesus wanted all these things for the Father's sake, and the first step in seeing the Father get all these things was for one tiny heart to start beating in Bethlehem. Jesus came that all these things be given to His Father.
And now there are fifty beating hearts in this room, brought here for the same reason Jesus was brought to Earth - that God might be made All in All.
We can bring Jesus' prayer requests to life on Earth. We can live as a people with a Father in heaven. We can honor the Name of our Redeemer. We can do the works of healing and love that define His kingdom, and do His will by reaching out to those in need around us right here in North Columbus. We can make sure every one of His children has bread, someone to laugh with, and a shoulder to cry on. We can confess our sins to one another, and find forgiveness in presence of His brothers and sisters. And we can see His children through times of trial and temptation.
I'd like to thank each of you for the way you've done this for me. I commend you to the Father and to Jesus for making so many of His prayers come true for me. As individuals, many of you have blessed me, and as a church you have renewed my hope. May the Lord bless His church, and may we submit to Him to continue returning this perfect gift to Jesus in 2008.