The Carpenter’s Boy’s Blueprint – Renewed by Grace, Restored by Light

There is a plan. There’s a blueprint for a whole new development, not just a single dwelling. It is delivered by a carpenter’s boy who was born to a higher calling. It is announced on the most extraordinary of signs. ‘Expressed in the most extraordinary of events. ‘Shared in the most extravagant of simplicities: a simple, holy life. Here is the result: you and I are renewed by grace, and restored by light! What a glory! Such an ah-ha experience for our souls. (That’s what grace is!) What a life-changing, re-directing wonder. (But then, bright light in a dark world has been doing that, ever since the magi first followed that star!)

Consider: the earliest of church signs, set to announce the blueprint for the Savior, was nothing less than a STAR! And a star can say plenty. It can speak to the whole universe, in a way not even the best of our own signboards can, electronic or otherwise. It turns out, only a star is big enough, bright enough for such a message! And there is no star bigger or brighter than the Star of Bethlehem. Here is its message. WE BUY OLD HOUSES. We buy old houses. Surely you’ve seen smaller signs with the same message, all along the roadways, every now and then. You know the plot. Some company buys broken down old houses for a song, fixes them up ‘til they meet their full potential, then sells them at a great profit. Friends, the Bethlehem Star reveals the same blueprint for the earth, drawn by the Architect of Heaven. It tells the magi. It tells us. It tells anyone who can see from any place in the universe with the eyes to see the light. God himself is now in the business of claiming broken down old souls. Not because they deserve it. Or because they have worked for it. But just because God sees a value we do not. ‘A loveliness we cannot. ‘A value we will not. And God has a plan for renewing these houses, these souls of ours, until we meet the potential for which we were created. He’ll be working with the tired among us. (Whew.) And the discouraged. ‘Those of us who have to go back to work or school tomorrow. God’ll be leaning a little on the side of those of who are wrestling with demons. Lightly shadowy demons. And those deep-and-dark that we hide from everyone except God and our inmost selves. Oh my.

His plan is to let this star-announced child to grow up. ‘Teach the Kingdom. ‘Heal the broken. ‘Challenge the wayward and the willfully lost, too. (Which one are you?) His plan is to compress all that starlight into something the shape and size of a cross. ‘Enough to hold this Christ-child on it, attach every sin and sorrow to it, bury and resurrect that Child-of-Light through it. And in the process, the plan is to renew all of us, each of us, to what/whom we were meant to be: COMPANY for God, Kin to Christ/to one another.

Here is a life-changing, re-directing wonder! The child Jesus will speak it as the man Jesus Christ. God will give everything (that matters) to those who seem to have nothing. Ask those from here who’ve been out there (on the Katrina Gulf, at the worksites, in Zimbabwe). Imagine, the mourners (aren’t we all mourning something or someone) comforted. Those who accept what-little-they-have get to have as much as the earth can hold. No more hunger; no more thirst, body or soul! And instead of getting run over when you give mercy, now it will come back to you. The simply good-hearted will get to see the goodness of God! Those who try to quiet the hell raisers will get to hear heaven sing “hello”! If you try, just try, lifting up the Godly, and the ungodly put you down, The Good Lord’s got a switcheroo in store for you!

This is the plan. And the Carpenter’s Boy’s got the plan in hand! But here’s the thing. Once you’ve heard it… AND YOU YOURSELF HAVE HEARD IT TODAY… there are no more excuses. No more hidin’ your own light under a bushel. This boy-child, carpenter-savior says you’ve got a light in you. Don’t miss this. It’s star-borrowed, it’s just that bright. And you’re supposed to let it shine! Why? So everybody all around can see. Why? So they too can give God glory! Now let us not close without noticing. It turns out no matter how big, small, young or tall; employed, unemployed,  boring or widely enjoyed we are… there is enough light in all of us to do some shining. (So no more whining!) You matter to the plan! You matter to Christ. You matter to Christ. (Me too, even.) You and I, we have been renewed by grace! (Our souls, the old houses God has chosen to secure and restore.) You and I, the star-announced, Christ-burnished light God is counting on to restore the luster of this old world, ‘til it beams like heaven, and sings for joy at the Great Light Throne!

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