That little baby in the manger.
O come, O come Emmanuel. God with us.
So sweet, so innocent.
Are you sure?
Ancient Jews didn't share that expectation.
They looked for someone quite different--
Who can abide the day of His coming? Who can stand firm when He appears?--Malachi 3:3
In other words--Look out. God is mighty and will come in all of that might. He will test us--
He will be like a refiner's fire--Malachi 3:4
Hot and destructive.
He comes not only with mercy and forgiveness, but He comes as a
Spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of His mouth and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.--Isaiah 11
He is one God, you know. One.
The Baby. The Healer. The Savior.
but also The Judge. The Avenger. The Sword-wielder. The Dread Horseman.
Jesus, even as a baby, is not cute or safe.
He says, Follow Me, but if we don't, will eventually sweep us away in a firestorm.
He forgives. He has mercy, but that mercy has bounds. Eventually, He tires of waiting.
He brings us along, but when we try to interfere with what is, after all, His plan, He doesn't hesitate to tell us to "Get thee behind me, Satan."
He came to save and did it--without help, and without hesitation.
Who can, indeed, abide the day of His coming?