Yesterday I finished reading Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult. One of the main characters, Luke, is a biologist specializing in wolves. Instead of studying the wolves from afar he spends nearly two years in the Canadian wilderness where he successfully integrates into a wolf pack and lives like a wolf. Luke travels, eats, and interacts like a wolf during this time. This is only a minor part of the story line in this page turner, but it got me thinking about Christmas.
Luke had to wait for the perfect time to come into the wolf pack.
God sent his son, Jesus, at the perfect time into this world (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Roads were finally built so the message could be sent out about a Savior and be efficient for sharing about this good news of great joy. The prophecies were all lining up.
Luke was human, but he became like a wolf so that he could get to know the wolves and the wolves could get to know him.
Jesus was all God, but he became like a man so that we could get to know Him. Jesus already knew us, and we can find comfort in that he lived as a human.
A lot of people questioned Luke’s desire to live with the wolves. Why? You can have showers and hamburgers in civilization!!!!
God loved us so much that He sent Jesus from heaven (a place even better than showers and hamburgers) to live among us here on earth. This really shows God’s love for us because it doesn’t make sense otherwise that God would want to come and live among his creation when He could hang out in heaven.
Luke finally left the wolves. He felt he had to leave when he did or he would never leave. He stumbled out of the forest and scared some girl scouts with his wild appearance. SPOILER ALERT: But, Luke eventually dies (unrelated cause) and the wolves he works with howl in mourning for him for like 30 days.
Baby Jesus grew up and proclaimed God’s love. Then, as the ultimate sacrifice to save people from the punishment for disobeying God (eternal death), Jesus died in our place. But, unlike Luke, three days later, Jesus came back to life! He stuck around on earth for a while meeting with people, and then He went to be in Heaven to prepare a place for us where, if we accept Him, we will have eternal life. Jesus conquered death. He is alive! And God sent His Holy Spirit to be with us until Jesus comes back.
“6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6-7
Today one of my students wished me a “Merry Christless.” I didn’t think he was being intentionally disrespectful, and I asked what he meant. He told me that it makes more sense to say that since he believes Christ is dead. Then the bell rang.
Oh my heart aches about this lie the world has swallowed.
23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). – Matthew 1:23
Knowing that God is alive, with us, and seeking relationship with us, gives purpose and meaning to life and to Christmas. I’m so glad Jesus chose to live with us, basically wolves, to allow us to experience His great love.
“I honestly didn’t think I was believing any lies, but when I began to pray about it, God opened my eyes and showed me two major areas where I had been deceived. Those lies had kept me in bondage for over ten years! Once I saw the Truth, I repented of believing the lies and asked God to take back ground I had allowed Satan to have in that area of my life.” – Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free, Nancy Leigh DeMoss
My husband took the picture of this wolf at the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge this summer. The place is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. You can listen to a talk about wolves, see them interact, and see other animals rescued from the Adirondacks.