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Rising Above It All

We need an aerial view of Christmas to understand Christmas fully.

November 28, 2022

Well, the Holiday Season is in full swing, and now comes the capstone of the holidays, Christmas. Soon, Christmas lights, songs, and great expectations will be the norm. After a tumultuous mid-term election, I’m sure most of us “need a little Christmas now.”  

Here’s a true recollection from author Laurie Beth Jones’ book, Jesus, CEO

"Driving home late one afternoon, I saw an intriguing sight. The Miramar Naval Air Station was having its annual air show. Cars had stopped all along the freeway to watch the silver planes’ fantastic dips, twists, twirls, and dives. 

"There, in the middle of a eucalyptus tree, sat a hawk – watching the planes put on their show. The hawk seemed so calm and centered amid the thunderous display. The hawk seemed thoughtful. It was as if the hawk were thinking, ‘I, too, have the power to fly – with equal grace and measure. After the noise is over, I will rise and fly away – still the master of all I see.’”

I like this true-life example. That hawk wasn't swept away by the commotion meant to play on its emotion. The hawk was looking down from an up position. The chaos going on around the hawk didn't get inside of it. There's a lesson for us to learn from the hawk about successfully navigating the Christmas season. We need an aerial view of Christmas to understand Christmas fully. 

We need to rise above it all. So, let's rise above the commotion, razzle-dazzle, optics of sugar plum fairies, and hustle-bustle of ‘Happy Holi-daze.’ Don’t look up at Christmas from an earthly or down position. Instead, look at Christmas from a heavenly or up position. Then you will comprehend the reason for the season. 

Here’s a truth many of us don't realize yet. There are two realities for us humans. Currently, our condition is that we are on Earth. But if you are a believer, your condition is you are on Earth, but your position is you are seated with Christ in the heavens. Here's what the scripture says about a believer’s current condition and current position of being seated in the heavenlies: 

“It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of worldliness. You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing when we felt like doing it. All of us were in the same boat. It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. 

"Instead, immense in mercy and with incredible love, God embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down (seated us) in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.” Ephesians 2:1-6. 

Now that’s a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Eternity. When believers pass from this world to God's heaven, their condition becomes their condition and their position. They rise above it all. 

The moment a believer dies, several things happen that they will experience. 

  1. Angels usher their souls to heaven. Luke 16:22
  2. They immediately enter God’s presence. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8
  3. They are conscience, in command of their thinking, feeling, speech, and memories. Luke 16:19-31
  4. They participate in magnificent worship with angels and believers before the throne of God and Christ. Revelations 4 and 5
  5. To some degree, they are aware of activities and events on Earth. Revelations 6:9-10
  6. They will recognize and communicate with believers who preceded them to Heaven. Luke 9:28-36

Theologian Austin Farrer has notable thoughts about every human's condition and potential position.

“It is strange how, when we imagine heaven, we think of it as something shadowy. We color it with tints of moonlight, sleep, and the faces of the dead. But there are no shades there; there is the substance of joy and the vitality of action. So, when we are there and look back on earthly life, we shall not see it as a vigorous battlefield from which we have gracefully retired; we shall see it as an insubstantial dream from which we have happily awoken."

Just think of it. God started small to go big on the first Christmas. And just like the hawk, Jesus, despite all the thunderous noise and flashy dives around him, maintained confidence in his wings and perspective. He rose above it all. 

I hope this Christmas, you will rise above it all. And make your condition, also your position on Earth as it is in heaven.

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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
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