Daily Dose, Dec. 23: Advent

  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)   I love inspiring stories. I think most of us do. I remember seeing a documentary several years ago about a father. His son was a quadriplegic but had dreams of running and being set free from his bed and his wheelchair. The father began training, and after a while, began to enter races. He didn’t register as a solo participant. Instead, he would carry and/or push his son, and he would run the race that his son wasn’t capable of running on his own power. It was an amazing, inspiring story. Is there anything more inspiring than when someone shows that kind of love -- to do something deeply meaningful for another that they’re simply incapable of doing on their own. That’s what the Christmas story is all about, and we’re included in the story. For me, to call it inspiring doesn’t even do it justice. In the familiar Scripture for today, in the midst of the angel’s visitation to Mary and Joseph, the angel reveals that “he will save his people from their sins.” When Christ comes into this world, it reveals the love of a Father. It’s a love that is so great that it will go to any length to rescue and deliver his children. In this story, the Father looks at his children and realizes that their souls are so injured that they’ll never be able to accomplish what needs to be done on their own. And so, the Father does what only the Father can do. The Father makes a way. The Father decides to carry the children. They will be lifted up…on the back of Jesus. They will be carried across the finish line…on the back of Jesus. They will be given a new glimpse of their eternal future…on the back of Jesus. Jesus reveals God’s love by rescuing us from our sins. If you haven’t done it today…or this week…confess your sins to him. Allow him to take them from you. And then tell him thank you. I hope you’ll express your thanks by joining me in one of our worship services coming up today and tomorrow. There’s lots to choose from, and it’s important for us to tell him thanks! O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord! Merry Christmas! -- Rev. Brad Greene

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