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The Journal

The Heart of Sin

Dear Friends,

At Christmas we remember the coming of the prince of peace and then wonder why the world seems such a dark place where there is war between nations and even “war” within families. We see carnage in Syria, Berlin and even in Australia where domestic violence is destroying families. The reality is that when Jesus came the first Christmas he came to deal with the heart of sin. If He had come the first time to wipe out all sin and darkness the reality is that all of us would have been wiped out because we all have sin in our hearts. The centre and cause of the darkness in this world is the sin in our hearts which leads humans to ignore God and hate and attack one another. However, Christmas also reminds us that God loves us deeply and is at work to deal with this darkness of sin. Jesus willingly accepted the vulnerability and weakness of living in this dark world as a baby and growing up experiencing hate and rejection. His willingness to embrace weakness and vulnerability was directed to dealing with the heart of sin. He came to earth so He could die on the Cross for our sinful and disobedient hearts. He suffered and was punished instead of us so our sins could be forgiven and we could have peace with God !

In Luke 2:1-20 Luke is encouraging our faith in a number of ways. In 2:1-3 he mentions Caesar Augustus and Quirinius to remind us that he is recording history. This is not legend but factual history. Then in 2:10-11 Luke explains that Jesus is the Saviour. A saviour rescues someone from a problem and so Jesus comes to rescue us from our sin which destroys us and others, both locally and globally. Luke explains that this is Good News because God has not left us to our resources which are inadequate. He has come to deal with our darkness and encourages us with the word of the angel - Do not be afraid. Obviously being confronted with an angel would be frightening. BUT the fear is not just an extraterrestrial experience. Our fear is our sin being exposed. When God comes close in the person of Jesus there is the fear of being exposed and rejected. But God comes close in Jesus not to reject us but to help us find a way back to God so we can know His love and His joy. So often we fail to experience the joy of Jesus coming because we don’t let the word touch us. We fail to be vulnerable. In v19 Mary treasured all these events and pondered them in her heart. The truth of Jesus’ birth impacted her emotionally and cognitively ! God’s Blessings.

Rev David O’Mara