This week we celebrate, in a more focused way, the incredible claim (and it is incredible when you think about it! Christianity is radical!) that the Second Person of the Trinity, the eternal Son, entered into human existence, born of a virgin, born under the law, to redeem those under the curse of the law. I know I am utterly amazed at the thought, and pray God will never let me lose that awe and wonder! The problem is, of course, that there are so many excellent texts to commit to memory this time of year, and I got a bit of a late start. I will be preaching out of Isaiah 9 at PRBC Christmas morning, but I’ll save that for next year…or some year down the road. Instead, I think this is a vital and wonderful passage that will allow me all sorts of thoughts during the week (if I have time to post them!):
Matthew 1:21-23 21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”
This is from the angel’s announcement to Joseph, of course, that he should not fear to take Mary as his wife. And there are three major themes one can develop here: 1) Jesus saves His people from their sins: He does not make them savable. 2) Prophecy is real and it is important. 3) Immanuel, God with us, has a greater fulfillment and meaning than most would like to allow for the text in Isaiah. Let’s unpack some of these as we move toward next Sunday!