Friday, December 12, 2014

Shekinah Glory Wrapped in Flesh

Every December season brings with it a request from my weary soul to the One. Let me see you fresh this Christmas.  Let me think of you in a new way this year, King Jesus, who came as mere human babe.
My son, Eli, is what you would call "comfortable in his own skin."  He isn't afraid to start a new hairstyle, wear hot pink socks, or hunt down a bathroom in a new place.  He is pure joy and seems totally comfortable with who God created him to be. 
I am so glad God made him this way because I am the complete opposite.  I am always afraid of doing the wrong thing, asking for help, or heaven forbid, starting a new fashion statement. I am just not always that confident...I guess I am not comfortable in my own skin.
The Holy Spirit seemed to flutter big at those words and I paused to see what He might say.
What was it like for the Son of the Most High God, the King of Kings, the Sinless and Shameless One, the embodiment of Glory and Holiness...what was it like for this totally other being to put himself in human skin?
Was it comfortable?  Was it smothering?  Was it precious to put on skin, the same human skin that He wraps His image-bearing beings in?  Was it agonizing to be confined by something so weak? When the Word became flesh, was it a hindrance or was it a joy?
Lord, don't let us miss the significance of Pure Spirit wrapping Himself in flesh.
Could it be that when God made garments of skin (from animal hides) to clothe Adam and Eve it would point to the day He would send His Son in a garment of skin to clothe us in righteousness?
The Shekinah Glory that left the temple in the Old Testament was all the sudden born in a manure filled and animal inhabited stable.  The babe in a wooden bed would later bleed on a wooden cross and no more animals would need to be sacrificed again. Is it irony that the True Sacrifice was born among the temporary ones?
We should pause and adore Him...

This skin that Jesus put on, it must be precious because He chose to wear it after His resurrection. If I understand the Bible correctly, He even chooses to wear it in Heaven now.  This skin that we wear that seems to be such a hindrance, perhaps it is not the skin that hinders, but only the sin that mars the skin. Our skin-wrapped bodies are good.  They are a gift, only to be made better one day in a sin-void land.
I see my father in law's frail skin, wrinkled from the weight loss and white as a blanket of snow. I think about how his skin-wrapped body seems to be failing him and I am encouraged with the new body he (we!) will all receive.
It will be God's ultimate gift to each one of His children:  a body where we can be free from the entanglements of sin and totally comfortable in our own skin.
All because the Shekinah Glory wrapped Himself in flesh. 

"Man’s maker was made man, that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast; that the Bread might hunger, the Fountain thirst, the Light sleep, the Way be tired on its journey; that the Truth might be accused of false witness, the Teacher be beaten with whips, the Foundation be suspended on wood; that Strength might grow weak; that the Healer might be wounded; that Life might die." Augustine of Hippo, 4th century, from Sermons 191.1

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