Showing posts from December, 2010

How God chose to do it

Matthew 1:18-25 "Emmanuel," he shall be called, "God is with us, God with us ." I am always intrigued,  when we peel back the layers of Christmas wrapping and garland and get to the details of the story beneath,  at the WAY that God chose to come into the world, to go from being God Almighty to becoming God WITH us. We’ll talk in a few days about the absurdity of the birth event itself – the pronouncement to… random shepherds out in a field.  The labor and delivery in… an animals’ stable,  and other such surprising details of God’s big personal debut. But back up into Advent some more, where we sit today and wait for God's coming, and I am amazed all over again at God’s decisions. "He will come to save the people from his sins," the angel tells Joseph. The angel tells Joseph , who is stuck in a real predicament, legally contracted to marry this girl who turns out to be knocked up.  Virgin birth for some is a sign of purity or divinity, and it certa

The Peaceable, Impossible Kingdom, and we who hope in it

Romans 15:4-13 Isaiah 11:1-11 The other day Jeanne (our music director) pointed out to me that all these passages we have lately seem to say the same things. And she’s right. That’s part of Advent. We have artificially broken out these ideas into four weeks – hope, peace, joy and love-  but all of them are nestled in the darkness of Advent speaking out a reality that embodies the kingdom of God in full hope, and peace that floods the earth like water in the sea, and joy that springs neverending from the souls of all the people on earth, and love that defines and defends everyone.  They all have these grand and sweeping prophetic promises of God’s coming future.  Reading these things, week after week, can potentially begin to feel mocking if we actually listen to their words because they speak about things that are completely impossible, visions of peace beyond anything we could begin to fathom. “The peaceable kingdom” we call this vision in Isaiah 11 .    In this vision a “a shoot