Following A Lord Who Lives In The Thick Of Things

I can really identify with the person who said, “I get caught up in the thick of thin things.” Thin things are trivial things. They are those activities and concerns that don’t penetrate beyond the surface of life. They never touch the heart. They are like junk food: filling, but not nourishing. They are those appointments we make and functions we attend because “we have to.” Christ’s coming gives us a different outlook.

Christmas is a time when we catch a glimpse of the thick, truly substantial purpose of life. Christmas unveils the heart of the God of the universe. The Creator of all is not one who remains aloof, above the pain and tension of life. No! The Lord plunges into the thick of things. He spends himself on the essential, not the trivial.

Look at the choices he made:

¨ Jesus chose a poor, unwed, virgin as his mother, at a time when his people lived under the domination of Rome.

¨ Jesus chose a strategy of ministry that never set him apart from people. He lived in the thick of their pain, their questions, their needs, their anger, anguish and frustration.

¨ Jesus chose a death that revealed his ultimate commitment to be numbered with those who think they are “number nothing.”

Why did he enter into the “thick of things?” The Letter to the Hebrews says, “It was imperative that he should be made like his brothers [and sisters] in every respect, if he were to become a High Priest both compassionate and faithful in the things of God… For by virtue of his own suffering under temptation he is able to help those who are exposed to temptation” (Hebrews 2:17).

The key thought here is identification. Jesus identified fully with our human condition and circumstance. God’s strategy is incarnation, including relocation from heaven to earth. He can say, “I do know how you feel―I was one of you!!”

Our congregation’s mission is to be a discipling community where Christ’s power is transforming lives now and for eternity. We want to be a people who follow their Lord into the thick of things. We do not want to “play church,” wasting our time on thin things. We are giving ourselves for things of ultimate value.

The key to a fulfilling life in Christ is learning to pay attention and to invest in those things that are “thick” with meaning and purpose. As you catch a few moments for reflection, especially after the hustle of holiday preparation subsides, think of those things where your heart tells you that you could make a difference in the name and power of the Lord. May God deliver us from the plague of thin things!

See you in church!