Digging in Deeper: Luke 1:18

“‘How can I know this?’ Zechariah asked the angel. ‘For I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.'”  (CSB – Read the chapter)‬‬

Have you ever received news that was totally unbelievable based on everything you knew and didn’t believe it? Each of us has a level of disbelief we are capable of suspending in a given situation. We can only handle so much wonder. That level tends to be higher the younger we are (which is why, for instance, my boys wake up every morning these days asking where Elfie is and delighting in searching for and finding him), but grows smaller and smaller the older we get. When we are asked to suspend more than our max level, we tend to put on our suspicious hats and remain incredulous until we see proof. That’s normal. When it comes to the things of God, though, it can get us into trouble. 

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Morning Musing: Luke 1:30-31

“And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” (ESV – Read the chapter

We often hear Mary’s story here told and think, “Wow, how amazing would it be to have God think so highly of us?” And certainly Mary has occupied a large place in the story of humanity because of what God had planned for her. But before we stop at this thought of how great it would have been to be Mary, let’s back up just a bit. Mary was surely blessed by God, but walking in her shoes would have been a bit more complicated than the neat and tidy version of the story lets on. 

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A Life of Faith

This week we kick off a new teaching series called, The Characters of Christmas, designed to get us ready to experience the incredible Christmas story as fully as we possibly can.  The Christmas story is a real story filled with real people.  Just like they all had a place in the story, so do we.  Let’s look at what place they had to see what our own might be.  

A Life of Faith

I wish I could have been there at the birth.  It would have been incredible.  Now, I’ll tell you straight up that nothing could even come close to comparing with the births of my own sons, but this one would have come pretty far down that road.  The couple had been trying to have kids for so long they’d stopped counting.  Then, it finally happened.  They finally got there.  They finally got to experience the joy and wonder of delivering a healthy, precious baby into this world.  They were able to hold in their arms this tiny miracle from God.  The shouts of joy in the room would have nearly drowned out the healthily screaming baby.  The mother was crying with wonder and relief as she looked into the face of her infant son. It had not been an easy journey by any stretch of the imagination, but she had made it.  And her husband was standing there with her, silently watching the events unfold just exactly as he had hoped they would. 

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Morning Musing: Luke 1:7

“But they had no children because Elizabeth could not conceive, and both of them were well along in years.”  (CSB – Read the chapter) ‬‬

The story of Jesus as Luke tells it, who carefully investigated the whole thing in order to write an accurate and orderly account (verse 3), doesn’t begin in a place of great joy or excitement. It begins in a place of disappointment and quiet desperation that had lasted for decades. Not quite what you would expect from the story of God’s arrival into the world. 

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