Sunday, Dec. 4 – Philip Swicegood

4 Dec

Week 2: Peace
Today’s Scripture:
Psalm 149
Romans 12:14-21

PEACE on earth, goodwill to man

One summer when I was a child, we had a sparrow fly inside the screened porch of our house. I’m still not sure how it got inside, but, nevertheless, there it was, flying around in panic, crashing into walls. I opened the window, but in its state of fright the bird did not see the open way out. I tried guiding it toward the open window, but that just caused more alarm and erratic, crashing flights. Finally it crashed one too many times and fell in a heap to the floor. I took off my sock and wrapped the sparrow up (have you ever noticed how tiny and fragile sparrows are?) and set it out by the edge of the yard. I wasn’t sure if it was dead or just unconscious. A few hours later the sparrow was gone from where I had placed it in the grass – either it had revived, or our cat found it. I’m not sure which.

I wished I could have talked with that little sparrow while it was fluttering about in its state of panic and confusion. If only it could have known that I meant it good and not harm when I was chasing it about the porch. But in its tiny sparrow-eyes I was an enemy – an enormous, shouting, arm-flailing one at that. Because of our differences, I had no way to convince it otherwise, no way to show it the way to freedom. To do that I would have to become … a sparrow.

And so God became one of us. In a stable in a small Judean town he traversed a gulf much bigger than man-to-sparrow. God humbled himself and entered our confining, sin-wrecked screened porch. In our confused state, trapped in our sin and brokenness, we stubbornly search about seeking freedom and home, but we keep banging into a different reality. So God fully entered our reality – to show us freedom, to lead us home, to reconcile us to himself.

This is part of that deeper truth the angels declared to the shepherds: “Peace on earth, goodwill to man.” The reconciling God who became one of us was making true peace possible. The huge relational gap between broken mankind and perfect God was being bridged. Our rebellion and selfishness and pride and confusion and fear no longer need to stand between us and our Creator. We can set all of those aside, listen to the humble God-made-Man, and find our way home.

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Jesus, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his sacrifice. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body…” Colossians 1:19-21

The Child of God brought us peace not by scourge but by sacrifice, not by force but by fidelity.



2 Responses to “Sunday, Dec. 4 – Philip Swicegood”

  1. Matt Walters December 4, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    “God humbled himself and entered our confining, sin-wrecked screened porch.” I’m so thankful He did, and so thankful we enjoy the peace that transcends all understanding! Thanks, Philip, for such an awesome reminder that I “listen to the humble God-made-Man and find my way home.”

  2. Presley Wesson December 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Thank you for this encouragement. Such a neat reminder of the hope we live for.

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