“They shall his name Immanuel (which means, God with us)” – Mt. 1:23
The reality of Christ’s coming to this earth to be with His people – to be with us – is cause for great rejoicing and reflection. Thus, it is such a good rhythm for us to pause each December to celebrate Christmas. So far in our corporate gatherings, we’ve taken intentional time to consider the joy and comfort His advent should bring. Tomorrow, we consider the theme of Hope. As we do, we will seek to consider the coming of the Messiah through Jewish eyes…as family history. And this is appropriate as the tale of redemption is our story. Indeed, it is our family history! So, I want to encourage you to prepare your hearts and minds to see the fuller picture tomorrow as we continue to dwell upon the meaning of Christmas. It is a picture that will undoubtedly fill us with HOPE!
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” I was singing along with Michael Buble to this classic today as I thought about the many things that are so great about this time of year. I love the parties, cookies, decorations, gift-giving, family time, and music, etc. But, most of all, I love the rhythm of remembrance regarding the coming of Christ. Indeed, Jesus is the reason for the season.
Last week Matt helped us to think about the many reasons we have for genuine Joy as we consider the coming of Christ. Tomorrow we will consider the theme of Comfort. While it may not seem to possess an immediate connection to joy, I think that the path to the kind of joy that transcends circumstances must first pass through the comfort of God. As we consider this Christmas theme tomorrow, I hope that you will be reminded of the tremendous comfort that is available to you in Christ. Moreover, I hope that you will be motivated to spread it to those around you. The best present you give this year might be a hug…along with a heartfelt expression of love.
Pastor Matt kicks off our Advent Series this morning as it relates to JOY.