ADVENT! WHEN CHRIST FOLDED HIMSELF
MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS
“Then he took the two groups that had been opposed to each other and made them parts of himself; thus he fused us together to become one new person, and at last there was peace.”Eph. 2:15
Brian Simmons in the Passion Bible comments that there could have been over a hundred men with the Magi that came into Bethlehem to seek this child. No wonder Herod and all the city with him were terrified. Why this extravagant devotion you might ask? Augustine believes that the Magi were the first fruits of the age of Gentiles. For ever-since that time we who have been “folded in” have been pouring our gifts out to him, who is worthy of it all! Augustine quotes the Apostle Paul in this way, “He came to tell the good news about peace to those who were far away and those who were nearby. Yes, He’s our peace. He brought the near and the far together and made them one. He folded the two in upon Himself to form one new man whose mission would be peace. He took the two and changed them into one godly body.” Wow! That is a mouthful! When he folded himself and made them parts of himself! What a mystery! What a gospel! Eph. 2:15 We can forever live in peace! My friend, we will spend the rest of our lives starstruck, fastened upon this scene in the simple stable!
For Christ lived in a broken down stable lying in a manger unable to utter words yet put the star on its trajectory course through the heavens. Augustine comments; “yet an infant, and yet so potent, and yet so latent, a Babe who had to flee to Egypt in His parents’ arms because of the decidedly hostile acts of Herod. He was casual about it, modeling it for us, and in it He’d die for us when the right time came.”
Augustine speaks to us again to “trumpet Him on this earth, in this region of our flesh. Let’s not return to where we came from. Let’s not repeat every shred, every inkling, of our prior conversations. There’s no point in looking back. The Magi didn’t return to the Orient by the same route in which they came. Learn from the past. If you want to change your life, then change your way.”
You are living in the time when visitations happen. Learn to look for them, embrace them, and listen for them all around us, Advent is coming, forever coming, surrounding us in our Christmas songs, our Christmas joy, our Christmas hope. May you catch the wonder.