Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Geese

By David Sargent

     “Incarnation” – n. Literally, “en-flesh-ment” (Latin carnis—”flesh”); the doctrine that the Son of God became human (John 1:14).  Incarnation, in the Christian understanding, means that Christ was both God and human. – The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook
     There was once a man who didn't believe in the Incarnation and was skeptical about God.  He and his family lived in a farm community.  His wife was a devout believer and diligently raised her children in her faith.  He sometimes mocked her faith and her religious observances.
     One snowy morning around Christmas time, she was taking the children to a church service.  She pleaded with him to come, but he firmly refused.  He ridiculed the idea of the incarnation of Christ and dismissed it as nonsense.  "Why would God lower himself and become a human like us?!  It's such a ridiculous story!" he said.  So she and the children left to worship while he stayed home.
     After they left, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As he looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening.
     Then he heard a loud thump, something hitting against the window.  Another thump.  He looked through the window but couldn't see.  So, he ventured outside.  In the field near his house he saw a strange sight: a flock of geese!  They had apparently been flying south to a warmer climate when they got caught in the snow storm.  The snow had become too blinding and the wind too violent for the geese to fly or see their way. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They fluttered their wings and flew around the field in circles blindly and aimlessly.
     The man had compassion for them and wanted to help them.  He thought to himself, "The barn would be a great place for them to stay! It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm." He tried many things to get them to go into the barn.  In frustration, he went over and tried to run after them and chase them toward the barn. They only got scared and scattered into every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where there was warmth, safety, and shelter.
     Feeling totally frustrated, he exclaimed, "Why don't they follow me!  Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm!  How can I possibly get them into the one place to save them!"  He thought for a moment and realized that they just won't follow a human.  He said to himself, "How can I possibly save them?  The only way would be for me to become like those geese.  If only I could become like one of them!  Then I could save them!  They would follow me and I would lead them to safety."
     Then he began to understand the Incarnation... We are like the geese -- blind, gone astray, perishing.  God became like us so He could show us the way and make a way available to save us. That is the meaning of the Incarnation, he realized in his heart. *

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
And we beheld His glory,
The glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
Full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

     Jesus came to save us!  To accomplish this mission, He not only had to become a man, He also had to die on the cross for our sins (1 John 2:2).
     Jesus WILL save those who place their faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:38).  He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
     The Incarnation: God became one of us so that He could show us the way to eternal life.
     Won’t YOU follow Him?

* Unknown Author; slightly adapted from “The Geese” as it appears at
http://www.opossumsal.com/Birds/TheGeese.html

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

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