I think as children of God we’re usually more concerned with the destination than with the journey. “Heaven holds all to me.” So much so I’m afraid that a lot of the time we separate salvation from creation. Being saved, to a lot of us, means being rescued out of this world. To many Christians, the world and whatever is of the world or in the world is worthless and useless. We don’t care about the world. We’re being delivered from the world.
But the Incarnation drastically alters that viewpoint.
The birth of Jesus, instead of separating salvation and creation, connects salvation and creation. It joins the realities of heaven with the ordinariness of life on earth. It brings together the human and the divine. By becoming one of us, God reaffirms the original goodness and purpose of creation. Our human condition, even with all its flaws and shortcomings, even with all our weaknesses, this world and everything in it is not so sad and worthless that God himself is above becoming flesh. In fact, it’s Jesus taking on our everyday human condition that is the means for our salvation! God reclaims us as his own by becoming one of us.
God created the world and all the people in it. And that world and that people—all of creation—have been groaning, Paul says in Romans 8, as in the pains of childbirth to become what we were truly created to be. We were created to be truly divine children of God, just like Jesus. We look at Jesus, God in flesh, and we see what the Father created when he created us. Or at least we see his intent. We see our potential, our calling.
John writes in the opening lines of his Gospel that when we receive Jesus, when we believe in the name of the Christ, God gives us the right, he gives us the power, he gives the authority to become children of God, “children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” Just like Jesus.
Yes, Jesus preached about the Kingdom of Heaven. But all his teachings had to do with how to live here on this earth. How to get along as a child of God here in this world. Here in the middle of God’s creation.
Seeing Jesus as a human helps us understand why God made us. And it empowers us to reclaim that purpose for our own lives. It enables us to live our lives fully here on earth, with each other, in all of our mundane ordinariness, as children of God. Just as he intended from Day One. To live like him.
Whitney experienced her first ever live Mavericks game at the AAC last night, compliments of our good friend and Small Groups Co-Leader, David Glover. (The Mavericks were able to pull out a nail-biter over Orlando, despite the fact that David’s been to two Cowboys games this year: Patriots and Eagles.)
I love experiencing things through my girls. I’ve attended a couple of hundred Mavericks games through the years—pre-season, regular season, and playoffs. But I saw things from an entirely different perspective last night. Whitney was genuinely thrilled by the things I’ve always taken for granted. The player introductions, the drum line, the T-shirt cannons, Mavs Man, Champ (that thing still looks like a Dragon Tales character, not a horse), chanting “De-Fense” and “Let’s Go, Mavs!” (didn’t they rip that off from the Spurs?), souvenir cups, thundering dunks, a three-on-one break, player interaction on the bench, the guys who continually distribute and clean up all the towels and water bottles, even P. A. announcer Billy Hayes and sideline shill Chris Arnold. Everything that is the spectacle of a Mavericks game. She was completely involved from before the opening tip to well after the final buzzer. She was trying to distract Orlando free throw shooters from our seats, which were not anywhere close to behind the backboard. She yelled throughout the fourth quarter for the Mavericks to “get it to Dirk!” She never sat still. She never stopped screaming. She never stopped laughing. I’m sure right now, even as she’s probably in the middle of some math or social studies class at school, she hasn’t stopped smiling.
And usually I would just sit there.
I saw it differently last night. It was a different game for me last night because I was sitting by Whitney.
And our Savior says unless we become like little children we can’t enter the Kingdom.
May our God grant us the vision, the humility, and the grace to be wowed by his creation and by his goodness and by his blessings. May we pay attention to all that is around us and recognize every bit of it as a wonderful blessing from our Father. And may others experience their daily lives differently as a result of watching us experience ours.
In 2004, Cowboys safety Roy Williams tackled Titans receiver Tyrone Calico from behind by grabbing the back of his shoulder pads and yanking him to the ground. As a result, Calico suffered torn cartilage in his left knee and a sprained ACL in his right knee. That same season Williams took out two Baltimore running backs with the same style of tackle. Jamal Lewis suffered a sprained ankle and Musa Smith a compound fracture of his right tibia. That same season Williams broke the right fibula of then-Eagles receiver Terrell Owens with the same horsecollar tackle. In May 2005, the NFL made that kind of tackle illegal. It was called the Roy Williams Rule.
Going into this past Sunday’s game against the Eagles, Williams had been fined $27,500 by the NFL this year for making two illegal horsecollar tackles. The NFL sent Williams a letter two weeks ago telling him he would be suspended if he did it again. And he did. His tackle on Donovan McNabb is the very reason that style of takedown was outlawed. He was flagged at the time. And last night the league suspended him for one game. Williams can’t practice with the team and he can’t play in what is now a critical game Saturday night in Charlotte. It’ll cost him at least $35,000 in salary. It’ll cost the Cowboys one of their best run-stoppers against a Panthers attack that is running all over opponents.
I saw a quote from Wade Phillips this morning claiming that in Sunday’s situation with McNabb, and in all the others this season, grabbing the back of the shoulder pads is the only way Williams can make the tackle.
Isn’t it because Williams is always running behind the ball carrier? None of this would be an issue if he could just get in the proper position.
Are Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson and Austin Grad Professor Michael Weed the same person?