Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 30~ The Sixth Day of Christmas

Today is December 30th- Happy "Sixth Day of Christmas"!

Today we think about the “Six Geese A-laying” which represent the six days of creation that confess God as Creator and Sustainer of the world (Genesis 1).

Today, we think of the Six Geese and the Six Days of Creation and we think of: PROCESS...

God's Act of Creation was not a one-time unfolded over a period of time... and it is sustained and nurtured by Him to this very day.  Additionally, we know that it will continue into some point in the the future, and eventually all that we are (including, but not limited to our "eternal soul") will be restored/replaced/redeemed (we don't quite know how) Revelation 21:1...

Such is our salvation...far from a one-time act, our salvation may have begun with a prayer, but it's effects unfold over time, and we must nourish it and encourage it's unfolding and continued growth. This is what: "...He that began a good work in us will carry it on to completion..." (Philippians 1:6)  is talking about.

We are a work in progress- begun, but not complete; and that work is being carried on by God. But we are not passive recipients of this work; we work with God in this process- as we clearly see in the following chapter of Philippians (2:12-13) where Paul instructs us to: "...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." (Philippians 2:12-13 -New International Version, ©2010)
This makes perfect sense, in light of Paul's instructions to the church at Ephasus in Ephesians 2:8-10:

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Our salvation is about GRACE, but absolutely involves componenets, suchas as: assent, then cooperation, and finally- perseverance, for as James writes: "Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

"Not lacking anything..." I like that!

What this means, then, is that we cannot merely expect to recite the equivalent of an incantation with the expectation of an eternal reward. God's work in and through us is much too complex, mysterious, and beautiful to be reduced to such an understanding.

This is what it means to be "A New Creation" (II Corinthians 5:17) or Born Anew (John 3:3-7)…birth is the beginning of a lifelong process- not merely and end unto itself!

So today, as we think about the "Six Geese A-laying" which represent the Six Days of Creation, we contemplate how we are New Creations when we begin to follow Jesus, and that our walk with God is a process that requires active participation, cooperation, and perseverance over the course of a lifetime. Because of this we realize that when we accept God's gracious gift of salvation, we become not simply beneficiaries of God’s redemptive work in the world, but we are also called and expected to become ambassadors and co-creators with God…agents of continual restoration and redemption of God’s New Creation in the world.


Dear Jesus,
Thank You for being Our TRUE LOVE!
Thank You for beginning a good work in us.
Thank You for carrying it on unto completion-
(often despite our efforts to the contrary).
Thank You for acting in our lives to fulfill Your Good Purpose for the world.
Help us to be active participants in the process.
Help us to persevere.
We ask this not so we can get something from you-
(supernatural self-improvement)
but so that we can have the honor of
participating with You in the redemption of the world.

All scripture quoted if from the NIV (New International Version) ©2010 Zondervan Publishing

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