Digging in Deeper: Matthew 1:23

“See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

We love the idea of going on a quest. We may not necessarily want to go on one ourselves, but we love the idea. Every good story is based around some kind of a journey. We have to get somewhere in order to do something, overcoming some obstacles along the way. This concept pulses so deeply in our hearts that it lies at the root of our religion too. Every religion is about people going on a quest to obtain the blessing or the power or the presence of the divine. Every religion, that is, save one.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Matthew 1:20

“But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

What are you afraid of? That was actually a topic of conversation in my vehicle the other day. The list included a pretty standard set of things: spiders, snakes, mice, insects, and the like. Any of those on your list? Perhaps, but I’ll bet you have some other things on there as well; things that are bigger, harder for you to precisely define, and possess more control over your life than any of the cliched list. The good news is, you don’t have to live with this. Joseph didn’t either.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Luke 1:37

“For nothing will be impossible with God.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

What exactly does it mean that something is impossible? At a strictly practical level, it means that whatever it is cannot happen. There is no chance of it taking place. The way we generally use the word, though, it means simply that we consider whatever it is to be highly unlikely. What Gabriel said to Mary here, though, seems to demand a bit of explanation. Nothing will be impossible? Really?

Read the rest…

Faith in the Hard

Last week we got to hear from the angel Gabriel as he reflected on his experience delivering the news of Jesus’ birth to Mary. With him we got to marvel at the wonderful truth that with a faithful servant, God can change the world. This week we got to hear from Joseph who gave an poignant reminder that faith in the hard really is worth it. Keep reading to see how this story unfolds.

Faith in the Hard

They’re finally asleep, thank the Lord! You would think that exhaustion from the journey alone would have made that particular task significantly easier than it has proved to be lately, but you would be wrong. These are the things no one bothers to tell you when the child arrives. All everyone does then is ooh and ahh over how cute he is. “He’s such a precious little baby,” they said. “He’s just perfect,” they crooned. “He’ll be the Savior of the world,” they proclaimed. But after a long day on the road and with the stress of recent days weighing heavily on our minds, I’m not so much worried about the whole world being saved as I am getting a few hours of sleep so we can keep going tomorrow.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Jeremiah 1:5

“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Mary was called to a big task. I mean, in an entirely practical sense, she wasn’t called to anything she wasn’t already going to experience herself in a few years—Jesus had other siblings—but the timing, the nature, and the birth circumstances of this particular child were going to be a big task. And because God Himself was so invested in this task, we can rest assured that He wouldn’t have chosen Mary for it unless He was certain she could handle it. The same goes for us. Let’s talk about why.

Read the rest…