Immanuel — and the “follow” part that follows

Bethlehem, West Bank (JDP photo)

By John D. Pierce

God came to live among us. Jesus is God’s fullest self-revelation.

His life — filled with words, deeds, lessons and sacrifice — was far more than filler or a mere segue from birth to death.

It’s tempting to focus almost exclusively on the celebrations of Christmas and Easter — with less regard for the in-between years filled with other-kingdom parables and costly demands. Doing so relieves one of the selfless, demanding and change-producing calling to follow Jesus.

Mere Christmas & Easter Christianity is easy, wide and often destructive. It allows for affirming faith and identifying with a popular form of Christianity while embracing priorities and privileges strikingly at odds with what Jesus so clearly revealed.

My prayer for this Christmas is that we may we celebrate the coming of Christ— Immanuel, God in the flesh. But also more strongly consider what follows the manger and precedes the cross.

And, in doing so, we will hear the voice of Jesus calling, “Follow me.”

Daring to follow that daily calling is not the easiest route, but the most faithful and fulfilling. It is a journey made evident in our clear reflections of the selfless, compassionate, fearless way of Christ.

 

 

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