December 2016

December 2016

A fiery, bright, celestial object, the natal star, blazed in the night sky over Bethlehem.

All around the sleepy village was the still deep, blue of a winter’s night.  This beautiful star serves as a metaphor for the promised Messiah.  As it’s radiant light pierced the darkness of that night, so Jesus, the Light of the World pierces the darkness of bethlehemhuman souls, as we are awakened by His Holy Spirit.

The proclamation of the Gospel begins with the prophets of old, such as Isaiah, who foretold the story of Messiah’s birth 700 years before the blessed event.

Hear Isaiah’s passionate words from chapter seven …

10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

Advent is a season of four weeks including four Sundays.  Advent derives from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.”  The season proclaims the first and second comings of the Christ, Whose birth we prepare to celebrate once again, Immanuel (God with us) comes continually in Word and Spirit, and His return in final victory we anticipate.

It was John the Baptist, a cousin to Jesus, who 700 years later, proclaimed the words of Isaiah from chapter 40:

1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.  2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.  3 A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.”

Today, the clarion call reaches our ears in the same way;

“…prepare the way for the LORD.”

Can you hear heaven calling out to you, with the blessed news?

3 A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.”

This year, as we prepare to celebrate birth of our Glorious King, do not let the Spirit of Christ be passed along to more receptive hearts.  Instead, let God’s Holy Spirit fill you anew, with the wonder and radiance of the true meaning of Christmas:  the Spirit of Christ living in us.

Blessed Christmas,

Pastor Michael