Noel: All is Well

Written by Ryan Miller
A couple of Sunday’s ago we met at Calvary to do a joint service.  While talks of a merger with them continue to float around, we were provided with the opportunity to worship with one another.  To grow with one another.  To praise our King together.
I was struck by their humility.  By their willingness to have us - the younger body of Heritage - come in and run the show, so to speak.  And I, in turn, was humbled to be a part.
Jeremy spoke on the song “Noel” by Lauren Daigle.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to record the sermon, and my memory is less than stellar, and it’s two weeks after that service, so my reflection will be less than perfect.
But a few things did leave a mark, and those I want to share with you.
The primary segment that stood out to me from Jeremy’s sermon was when he mentioned that “Noel” can be translated to mean “Now all is well.”
Now, all is well.  Before, it was not.  Now, it is.
Because Jesus came.  Because God incarnate came, subjected himself to human form, lived the perfect life we never could in order to satisfy His own law as the perfect sacrifice for a sinful humanity incapable of ever living in His eternal presence again.
And because of that, now all is well.
I’m reminded of a comment that Will Baird - one of my good friends and a regular attendee of Heritage – made not long ago to me.  He is currently taking Greek as an elective class for his senior year, and he said that there is a word tense in Greek that refers to an action that has already taken place, but is also currently taking place.  According to him, there is no similar tense in the English language.  And, Will says, this special tense was used by Paul in reference to the crucifixion.
When the crucifixion was being written about, it had already happened.  Jesus’ sacrifice had already historically taken place.  And yet, it was still occurring as they wrote.  And it is still happening today.  And it will continue to happen for as long as this earth stays in its present form.
Jesus’ return to Heaven does not stop the fact that His sacrifice is still saving lives and will continue to do so.
And so, we can always say in the present tense - for those of us who believe - “now, all is well.”
One of the lines in Noel that seemed to stick out to multiple elder’s as Jeremy was accepting ideas for his sermon preparation is the line in the chorus when Lauren sings “Noel, Noel, Come and see what God has done.”
Come and see what God has done!
Admittedly, the birth of Jesus was pretty low key.  He was born in a stable surrounded, presumably, by his parents and maybe some animals.
And as we sang this past Sunday in the song “Seasons” by Hillsong, God could have chosen to save us all in a second, but instead he sent a child.  A child who became a carpenter, lived a seemingly normal life for 30+ years, discipled a very small amount of uneducated men and women, and then took on the wrath of God and died an extremely painful death.
And then was brought back to life.  And ascended back to Heaven to spend eternity in the presence of God the Father until one day He comes back to save those who believe.
As an old Christmas song says, “This is such a strange way to save the world.”¹
But it’s the way the Lord has chosen to do it.  As we heard Jeremy talk about this past Sunday, it’s the way in which God has chosen to reveal His glory.  It’s the way in which God has chosen to make much of His name.
Something that has been on my heart for a while, and what I want to end with, is the fact that Sunday morning is no longer special to me in the sense of it being a special day where I try to enter into the presence of the Lord only to find myself reverting back to the status quo during the week.
Every single day is a day where, through the Lord’s grace, I strive to serve Him.  I strive to be obedient.  I strive to be faithful.  As a friend of mine told me a while back, the way success should be defined in my following of Jesus is by how faithful I am being.  I find, and continue to find, a lot of truth in his wisdom.
Whether or not I soak up every little detail from a sermon on Sunday, or feel intense feelings during our collective time of worship, though somewhat important, is not of incredible importance.  The importance, I think, of Sunday is for refreshment.  For encouragement.  For community with y’all, my spiritual body.
Y’all are literally other body parts that make up the same body that I am a part of.  What a thought.
So, for me - and for you if you are a fellow member - Heritage is the body that we are a part of.  We are intricately connected in a way that, honestly, I think we/I struggle to live out in a practical sense.
My prayer is that we will to push each other to represent the biblical church in a way that is accurate and real.  My prayer is that we will look far different from the world and that the world will know us by our love for one another.
May they know that now all is well through our love for one another and through coming into contact with the resurrected Jesus through the work of the Spirit.
May we be a body that genuinely says, and lives out, “Come and see what God has done,’’ both in our personal lives and in the collective life of who we are as a church.
¹ “A Strange Way To Save The World” by 4HIM 
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