A brief word for a New Year

To all Surprising God readers: Happy New Year! Here is a brief word for 2012: Jesus is alive!

By this I mean that Jesus is not merely...
  • A concept to be studied
  • An historical personage to be emulated
We are well advised, of course, to study and emulate Jesus. However, my prayer is that in 2012 we will experience and express even more fully the all-encompassing love and life of Jesus, our living Savior who is...
  • The incarnate Son of God - fully God, and fully human. When Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, he did not shed his humanity. He remains human (now glorified) forever.
  • Our Mediator. As both divine and human, Jesus continues to be the "go between" - the one who, in his own Person, unites humanity with God. Jesus is the Atonement. 
  • Our High Priest. Jesus the God-man lives forever to make intercession for humanity.
  • The One who sends the Holy Spirit to educate all humanity concerning who Jesus is, and thus who we are because of who he is.
  • God at work in our world through the church. God is not absent and aloof from life on earth. He is present with us and for us in Jesus who, through the Holy Spirit, is actively at work in our midst. As the church formed and sent by the Holy Spirit, it is our high calling to participate in what Jesus is now doing in the world. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer was fond of saying, we are called to be "place-sharers" with Jesus - sharing the life that he is now sharing, through the Holy Spirit, with each person on earth.
In 2012, may we experience great joy as we share the love and life of God, in Jesus, through the Holy Spirit.