Mt 11:11-15 None Greater
What does it take to be great? According to the Lord, it takes humility. “The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.” (Ps 145:8)
The Lord is Gracious. The Christmas story is powerful because it is gracious. The Creator of the Universe, the One who is not like us, became one of us so that He could be one with us. This Story is retold in many ways, and sometimes in bizarre ways. I think back to the recent block buster movie, “Avatar”. I have no idea if the director of the movie or the author of the screenplay ever intended to make the movie a quasi-Christian story, but he sure did take a lot of ideas from us. Think about it for a moment. An alien (in this case, man) traveled to another world. He became one of them. He fell in love with them. He was willing to die for them. He saved them from the evil ones. Not only that, but he was even betrayed by his own and nearly killed by his own. I could go on, but it’s not necessary. Avatar is just another addition to a long string of Christian fairy-tales like the Lord of the Rings or Narnia, even Star Wars.
No matter what people say, it’s hard to get around our story. After all, it has been a block-buster hit FOREVER! There is no more gracious Lord then the Lord who became one of us.
The Lord is Merciful. “It is I, the Lord, who say to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ Fear not, O worm Jacob, I maggot Israel” (Is 41:13). What does mercy mean? It means getting filthy, downright dirty, for another. It means sticking your hand into something slimy and gooey to help another. For example: a father who jumps into a septic tank to save his son (and dies doing so); a New York bus driver who stopped to rescue two families from a burning house – and went on to finish his route; a University of Arizona grad student who lost her leg in the Haiti earthquake, then returned to the country to build a school; a Connecticut mayor who donated her kidney to a Facebook friend. Yes. The Lord defined for the world what mercy truly means: to do something beautiful, unexpectedly. The Lord is merciful because he gets right into it!
The Lord is Slow to Anger. We know what this means. We have all experienced it. We are all recipients of it. We live, breath, smile and give a big sigh of relief because the Lord turned the other cheek. But there is a limit, and eventually the Lord must hurt in order to heal; punish in order to push. Thank God you are slow to anger. Otherwise, who would love us? Who would tell us the truth without fear of being rejected, rebuked or ridiculed? Only the Lord does not fear being hurt by our feelings. The Lord is slow to anger because he is rich in kindness.
The Lord is great in kindness. He gives what we need. He takes what we give. The difference between the two is immense. For this reason, the Lord is great in kindness. He gives us His Son. We give Him our dung.
Imitate the Lord today using these four great attributes that do not even come close to describing the amazing humility and love of the Lord.