Christmas is a time to celebrate the coming of God into our world. Theologians call it the incarnation. It’s a fancy word representing both the humanity and divinity of Christ. God in human flesh. And while it may seem complicated to grasp, Christmas cannot happen without it.
The Bible says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 ESV).
Our history surrounding slavery never fails to stun me. What kind of evil man would whip another man senseless for the sake of money and power? What kind of evil man would ignore the suffering of another for the sake of keeping his own status? What kind of evil man would withhold from another man his needs in order to maintain his own luxurious lifestyle? I mean, how can so much evil and hatred fit within the human heart? These are the questions which haunt my mind. Until I realize that I’m that man.
I’ve never owned a slave. But my sin put Jesus Christ through the most dreadful torture known to man. Consider the words of the prophet Isaiah.
Nothing makes me feel farther from God than sin. The shame in my heart. The gunk in my mind. Something about sin causes me to play hide-and-seek with God. After all, His holiness and perfection seem all-too-scary for a darkened heart like mine to encounter.
That’s what sin does. It taints our worship by creating a barrier between us and God. And we need not look any further than the first book of the Bible to discover this truth.
In Genesis 2, Adam and Eve live in a perfect world. There’s no sin. There’s no death. There’s no cancer, divorce, or suffering. Everything is absolutely flawless. Because of this, there’s no shame. Verse 25 reads, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (ESV).
Trying to explain Marvel comics to me is like viewing a deer in headlights. Your most elaborate explanation only draws a blank stare. Just ask a friend of mine. Educating me on the various Spiderman movies is a great way to lose my attention.
According to Thomas Frey, a futurist, “We are entering a ‘superhero era.’ Each of us think about superheroes differently, but they are far more than entertainment. For many, they add purpose, meaning, and inspiration to a world often devoid of those qualities.” In other words, Thor and Batman give people hope. Iron Man and Hulk transcend human frailties. It’s a “superhero culture.” And the most popular superhero series of our day is “Avengers.”
A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend and I roamed the shelves of Books-A-Million. (Yes, we actually had a date in a bookstore). All went well until I spotted some merchandise. But not just any merchandise. Much to my disappointment, I saw action figures and other items based upon an individual who—in my opinion—shouldn’t be celebrated.
My frustration must’ve been obvious. Eventually, my girlfriend asked me who the publicized woman was. The woman found in action figure form. And I responded, “She’s a very horrible person.” Out loud. With a touch of fury. And a whole lot of regret.