December 9, 2018
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
C.S.Lewis- Reflection: Matthew 1:23
“Christianity is not merely what a man does with his solitude. It is not even what God does with His solitude. It tells of God descending into the coarse publicity of history and there enacting what can — and must — be talked about.” –From “The Founding of the Socratic Club” -God in the Dock
Greetings and Happy Second Sunday of Advent!
I have certainly enjoyed sharing the advent story with you this past week and for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you. Today our story’s focus is with Joseph and his response to Mary being pregnant. He cares for Mary and does not want her to be shamed by the public but he certainly cannot marry her. While Joseph was burdened with all this, God sends an angel to him and explains that Mary is telling him the truth, she is having a baby but she has not been with a man. She was blessed by God and became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. The angel tells Joseph that Mary was greatly regarded by God, and that the child she is carrying, is the Messiah! The Son of God! He also told him that God wanted him to be Jesus’ human father, what an honor!
The scripture verse for today is well know and I would venture to say even many non-believers know or recognize the first part of the verse, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.”
At the time of Jesus’ birth, the Jews were looking for a Messiah that would save them, but what exactly would this Messiah look like. The Jews were oppressed by the rulers of the cities and country during the time of the birth of Jesus and many looked for a mighty King to come to their rescue and save them, many were not looking for a baby to be born. Have you ever waited for something only to have it arrive looking totally different from your expectations? I remember as a kid hearing my parents talking about getting a new car, visuals of bright, shiny and sparkling vehicles raced through my thoughts, when the day came and the new car arrived, it was not as shiny as I had thought and it was not exactly new either. I remember my dad saying, “it’s new to us!” And though I didn’t quite understand it at the time I definitely learned it’s meaning as I grew older and realized “new” depends entirely on perspective. When we think about the time in history when Jesus was born there were lots of things not going well. God had provided for His people time and again, only to do it again. God didn’t love us any less due to our regression but was saddened by it and made the most difficult decision anyone has ever had to made, sacrificing His one and only Son to redeem all His children. Jesus has always been God’s Son, He was in the beginning and will be forevermore. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” -John 1:1-2. When Jesus was born to Mary, it was only to become human, like you and I only without sin. The story of Jesus, His life and purpose was not to simply offer a quick fix or to win a battle, no Jesus came to once and for all win the war! Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice and conquered death and fulfills the second part of Matthew 1:21, “…because he will save his people from their sins.” As we celebrate the birth of Jesus this advent season, let us also remember the “why.”
“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” -John 10:10
Prayer: Oh Lord, not what I think I want, but what you know I need! Amen.
~Peace and Blessings~