Saturday, First Week of Advent: Hope
December 6, 2014
In the narrative of scripture the birth of Christ is the pinnacle of the entire Bible, but in terms of history it seems so ordinary. A young, ordinary, Jewish girl carries within her the hope of all creation. When his person, this most extraordinary person, the hope of the world, enters the world, the world does not even know what has happened or who it is that has arrived.
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
which means, “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:18-23, NRSV)
When we reflect on the birth of Christ we are reminded of the lengths that God has gone through to be “with us”. Christ, could have come into this world to an affluent family, the stable could have been replaced with luxury, however it wasn’t. There were no parades, no festivals announcing His coming. In the book of Matthew there were wise men, and in the book of Luke there were shepherds and angels. When God came into the world he did so to be reconciled with us, to be “with us”. He got his hands dirty and got to know us in our own daily lives. Even though he was worthy of every gift the world had to offer, in humility and to be reconciled with us, he took very little. All so he could give the true meaning to the name Emmanuel (God is with us).
In troubled times we sometimes think, “no one knows how I feel”. Take hope and comfort that God himself knows, not only because He knows everything, but because He lived it too.