Imagine. It is the ultimate expat assignment. The boss asks you to leave your home and move to a distant land with an alien culture. You are given a specific message to communicate and a critical task complete. To do it, you must become one of them. In fact, their survival depends on your success. You know from the outset your message will be accepted by few and rejected by many. Your presence will be viewed as a threat. For that reason, the authorities will try to arrest you, deport you, and even take your life. The pay is terrible and the housing allowance is non-existent. There is no health care, holidays, or bonuses. You will be poor, homeless and fated to wander. You are told it is a three-year assignment, but in reality your work will be seven days a week and twenty-four hours a day for eternity. Do you take the job?
Probably not, right? As an accompanying spouse I know I would have serious doubts about this kind of deal. Fortunately for us, Jesus accepted his expatriate assignment without question. Our Savior left His home in the heavenly realms and came to earth to be one of us. Hebrews 2:14-15 eloquently explains that Jesus shared in our humanity so that by his death he could defeat the devil and free us from slavery and the fear of death. He took that terrible expat package for you and me and the rest of Abraham’s lowly descendants. The apostle John tells of an indescribable gift for those who receive Jesus and believe in his name. We have been given the right to become children of God! I love the phrasing he uses in John 1:13, “children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God”. The implications of that statement are vast. It means that the opportunity for eternal life is available to all. Amazing!
I find myself far from home this Christmas. Yet, I am thankful that my family will be together in Dubai. How incredible that we find ourselves living in such a place at such a time as this? Yet, still have the opportunity to worship together and share the incredible truth of Jesus and his journey to earth, his transformation into human form and what he then accomplished on our behalf.
Will you be sharing? – The God of the universe who becomes…A child in a manger, who becomes…Our Savior. Amen.
* If you are far from home this Christmas, come with me and worship at Fellowship of the Emirates in Dubai *