Sunday December 22, 2019
The Jesus Hokey Pokey
Ok…we all know the Hokey Pokey. But here is how Google describes it: “The hokey pokey is a participation dance with a distinctive accompanying tune and lyric structure. It is well known in English-speaking countries. It originates in a British folk dance, with variants attested as early as 1826. The song and accompanying dance peaked in popularity as a music hall song and novelty dance in the mid-1940s in the UK. The song became a chart hit twice in the 1980s. The first hit was by The Snowmen, which peaked at UK No. 18 in 1981.” Who knew? And what does this have to do with Jesus? It’s what Jesus came to do…turn it around.
In C. S. Lewis’ amazing children’s story, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he tells of a country called Narnia, which is under the curse of the White Witch. The evil queen places a spell on the land so that it is “always winter and never Christmas.”
Under her control, the future of Narnia looks bleak until word gets out that “Aslan is on the move.” In the story, Aslan is the noble lion who represents Christ. He is coming to set things straight. He is coming to destroy the White Witch and thus reverse the curse on Narnia. (See WORD WISDOM for a deeper study of destroy)
The first sign of Aslan’s movement toward this cursed land is that the snow begins to melt and “spring is in the air.” The cold begins to fade as the rays of sun peer through the dark clouds, promising the dawn of a new day. Everything in Narnia begins to change.
The birth of Jesus is a sure and certain sign that God “is on the move.” The arrival of Jesus on this earth two thousand years ago ensured that God had begun the process of reversing the curse of sin and recreating all things. In Jesus, God was moving in a new way and, in the words of C. S. Lewis, “winter began stirring backwards.” This has been the plan all along.
Nevertheless the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you. (Deut.23:5)
Jesus’ entire ministry, the words He spoke, the miracles He performed, showed that there was a new order in town…God’s order. When Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, and forgave the lost, He did so to show that with the arrival of God in the flesh came the restoration of the way God intended things to be. New life was given, health was restored, life was renewed. God was reversing the curse of death, disease, and separation.
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:19-21)
Jesus’ miracles were not the suspension of the natural order, but the restoration of the natural order. They were a reminder of what once was, prior to the Fall, and a preview of what eventually will be a reality once again…a world of peace, without disease and death.
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor.15:51-57)
There are many turns we can take in life…turn back, turn in, turn on, turn away , turn the other cheek, wrong turn, left turn…But the greatest turn is the re-turn. When Christ comes again, God’s rescue mission will be complete. Christmas is the celebration of this process begun and the promise that it will one day be completed. It really is the great turn-around. And that’s what it’s all about! Amen!!