"Long lay the world, in sin and error pining - Till He appeared, and the soul felt it's worth..." Oh, Holy Night.
My mind reels as I consider the implication of those words...
Jesus appeared - and suddenly, the soul of humanity - could feel it's worth. In the person of Christ, God gave us a living motion picture of how much one soul really matters. God's love on display for history to measure and record, wrapped up in swaddling clothes - lying in a manger.
Jesus bowed low, to enter this world as a newborn baby because of his great love for the human soul. Augustine said, "God loves each of us - as if there is only ONE of us to love."
It's impossible to really understand the impact of the manger - without considering the cross.
Jesus' mission was clear. He came to seek and to save the lost. Unwilling that any should perish, he humbly exchanged his life - for ours. Paul writes in Romans 5, "at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Msg.)
During his earthy ministry, Jesus appeared in people's lives, met them at their point of need, and changed them from the inside, out. Jesus demonstrated his power over evil, commanded the natural world, performed works of healing, and miraculously provided for people's needs. Every miracle Jesus performed was designed to communicate how valuable the human soul truly is.
In many of those circumstances, people had big questions about their value...Jesus knew how easy it would be for them to feel worthless, overlooked, passed by, forgotten, and utterly insignificant. So he appeared on the scene, often in the ugliest, most desperate, and shame-filled moment of their lives to do miraculous works of love.
To Jesus, lost souls are worth any price. No sacrifice is too great.
What about you and me? What are lost souls really worth to us?
Our mission in Southern Africa seeks out the lost, introduces them to Jesus. Jesus transforms their lives and makes their soul feel it's true worth. We have had the privilege of watching this happen time after time.
Thank you, for your faithful support in prayer and finance. Without you, our work among the people of Southern Africa would not be possible.
Our prayer for you this Christmas season is that you will encounter Jesus in even greater measure, and that your soul will feel it's great worth.