Theme for the Week: Signs of God’s Love
Incarnation – “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman'u-el.” (Isaiah 7:14)
Exaltation – But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for every one. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering. (Hebrews 2:9-10)
There is a beautiful song by Peter Mayer called, "Love is Born Anew" (from the album, “Stars and Promises Alive”) which calls us to sing a song of praise as heaven and earth rejoice at the coming of love into the world through Jesus Christ on Christmas morn. It speaks of overflowing rivers, of blossoms blooming in the desert, of God's Living Water lifting us up in a flood of joy so that we may touch this gift of forever. Though the journey may be long, weary, and cold, we see that believers in Christ live out a prophetic vision that brings healing. The song is a beautiful poetic reminder of the eternal bond we share with God through Christ who holds us and guides us with his light to the dawn of Christmas – where love is born anew!
As we light the third candle of the Advent wreath the cause for our rejoicing is clear: God the Son came to earth and pitched his tent of flesh among us. He did not simply appear as a man, he was conceived in the womb of a virgin and born in the normal course of human events. He needed to be fed, changed, and kept warm. Through him, God became present to us in a way we could experience with our senses. He was Immanuel – "God with us." To share in the incarnation is a joy beyond anything we could have ever hoped for or imagined!
Perhaps we have grown so comfortable with the simple and beautiful Christmas story that we sometimes forget just how profound and wondrous and radically amazing it truly is. The God of the universe, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, came to dwell with humanity. We sit in church Sunday after Sunday and sing the songs, hear the homilies, and celebrate at the Lord's Table. But what would we do if one day the Savior walked down the aisle and began to speak to us? Would we faint? Would we turn away in disbelief? Or would we fall to our knees in wonder and awe?
What is amazing is that our Savior is indeed with us every Sunday in the Word, the Eucharist, and at every moment in time. He made salvation possible through his suffering, tasting death and rising in glory so that we could discover love born anew. And yet, we may fail to respond to this awesome reality with true worship, true repentance, and true love. Let this week be a week of realization of what Christmas is truly all about!
Prayer: Father, pour out your grace upon my soul as I meditate on the greatness of your perfect love in sending your Son to be the substitute for our sins. May I share your song of hope and love made new with others today...Amen!
Spirit’s coming overshadows,
Virgin’s Son will suffer well.
Grace and glory for his people,
From the great Emmanuel.