October 2

October 2
by Pastor Jonna
“Christmas in October”
 
Read: Luke 1:26 – 38
 
As many of you know, I’m a sucker for Christmas. (Perhaps not as much as Sam Valles, with his perpetually growing Christmas Town collection, but still!) Whether Christmas or Advent – it’s my favorite time of the year, so it’s only naturally for me to be talking about it now!
 
For a few years, I have had this vision of being pregnant during Advent, like Mary. It feels incredible to anticipate that vision becoming a reality this year. What a gift!
 
As we consider Christmas and think back to the beautiful hymn in Philippians 2, I am struck by God’s plan to come down as he did. Instead of coming in a powerful godlike form with godlike powers to control and strike evildoers at will, God came down in the humble and vulnerable form of a baby. He came as one who cried, who couldn’t feed himself, change himself, or burp himself. He came as every human baby does – dependent and vulnerable.
 
And what is interesting is that Jesus didn’t outgrow his dependency and vulnerability. He outgrew his dependence on his parents, but never outgrew his dependence on his heavenly Parent. The Gospels tell us of Jesus sequestering himself and practically running away from people so that he could spend time with his Father. Even Jesus needed the Father. And as we know from the story, he never became invincible either; he was vulnerable to those who put him to death, because he knew that his death was necessary to accomplish God’s plan.
 
Jesus was, and is, entirely different from how we might have planned if we were God. His life flies in the face of our perceptions of success and how we think we need to grow up.
 
This time of the coronavirus pandemic has reminded the world of our vulnerability, and has reminded the Church of our true need to be dependent upon God. We have some real opportunities for growth, and I do believe that God will use even this terrible situation to strengthen the Church for His glory.
 
Heavenly Father, You are always at work, and we often do not have eyes to see. Help us to see and to be encouraged by Your work in the world, whether it’s in ways as small as a baby or through the vulnerability of an elderly friend. Help us to be increasingly dependent upon You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 
P.S. If you’ve already started listening to Christmas/Advent music or have put up decorations, let me know
 
 

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