December 6th, 2010
By Tim Heishman, junior pastoral assistant
I would not consider the events that take place in Matthew 1:18-25 to be exactly normal for a typical engagement scenario; in fact, they are pretty extraordinary, if not mind-boggling. But what I find most remarkable about this story are not the actual events themselves (the virgin birth, visits from angels, etc.)- it is not about the history or the biology of it, it is about the awesome fact that God chose to intervene in the course of human history in a dramatic and unexpected way, to redeem us once and for all from our sin, and to show us a better way to live life here on earth. He didn’t have to do it. We certainly didn’t deserve it. But he chose to come anyway, coming in the form of an innocent and defenseless baby, entrusting his son to the very humans who had rebelled against him ever since he had created them. That, is love!
Through all of these extraordinary events, God was at work in the world through his Holy Spirit. His Spirit caused Mary to conceive, prompted Joseph to obey, and lived in Jesus Immanuel- “God with us.” Today as the body of Christ and as individuals, we are charged with continuing this tradition of loving in dramatic and unexpected ways. In this season of advent, a season of waiting and expectation, I wonder how we can surrender to God’s Spirit in a new way, to let it work through us to continue to release this same mind-boggling love into the world. What areas of our lives can we hand over to the Spirit to be transformed? Our God seems to enjoy working in ways that often confound the traditional religious establishment and I wonder what some specific ways would be to love so deeply that it starts to turn heads. That would be exciting! So as we wait, let us be busy…..taking every opportunity to love like our creator, using his example as our model.