Saturday, December 13, 2008

"veiled in flesh the Godhead see"

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. no one comes to the Father except through me. if you really know me, you will know my Father as well. from now on, you do know him and have seen him.'

"philip said, 'Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.'

"Jesus answered: 'don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. how can you say, "show us the Father"? don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? the words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.'"

(john 14.6-11 tniv)

i know the day is coming when my kids will be embarrassed to be seen with me. they are just going to have to put up with me though and you know why? justice. how many times are they an embarrassment to me in public? when they throw a temper tantrum on the floor of the grocery store . . . that is embarrassing. when they completely ignore someone who is trying to start a conversation with them . . . that is embarrassing. when they get hyper and start acting totally weird . . . that is embarrassing.

i try to tell myself that people are not judging me based on how my kids act or behave. but we all know that isn't true. of course people assume a parent has no control over their kids when they throw a loud and violent temper tantrum (and, of course, they are right). of course people think you haven't trained your child to have better manners when they ignore them in conversation. and as for the acting weird, we all know the phrase, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." my embarrassment is all the more extreme because i know that my kids' behavior affects others' opinions of me.

Jesus says we don't just know about the Father when we know Christ. we actually know the Father himself when we know Jesus. in the old testament God revealed himself through the law and the prophets. but that was only an imperfect understanding of God. when we see Jesus, we are seeing God himself.

i never like photographs of myself. i don't feel like they ever reflect me the way i see myself. something is always missing. the best way to get to know me is to get to know me. when God sent Jesus, he sent us the best way to get to know himself. sometimes people think they don't like the image of God they have from their understanding of the old testament. Jesus tells us we can't differentiate. what we see in Christ and his life on earth is the way God the Father is. we see God when we see Jesus because they are one and the same.

"come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.

he makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields with fire.

'be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.'

the LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of jacob is our fortress."
(psalm 46.8-11)

for the kids: ask them how they think someone could best get to know them. how would they describe themselves to someone? what is their favorite photograph of themselves? explain that the way God wanted us to get to know him was through Jesus. what have they learned about God from studying Jesus? for a project, cut out a wreath shape from a small paper plate or craft foam. on the sides write "son of God" and "son of man" to remind us that Jesus was both God and man. if you like, make a face of Jesus to put inside the circle.

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