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.

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Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 9:6

“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

There has been a bit of a rash of babies being born where I live lately. Babies are born all the time, but I can quickly think of four that have arrived in the last couple of weeks in our little community. (In case you’re curious, girls are winning three-to-one.) The birth of a child is always a moment primed with hope and expectation. The possibilities before that little one are literally endless. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of a child whose expectations were even higher than usual.

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Digging in Deeper: Micah 5:2

“Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; one will come from you to be ruler over Israel for me. His origin is from antiquity, from ancient times.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

People don’t expect much from small towns. The pace of life there is slow. There aren’t many job opportunities. Retail offerings are limited. Medical capabilities are limited. Culture isn’t being created. Frankly, most of them are dying. Nothing of real significance happens there. Except this one time, the King of Heaven entered earth in a small town and the world has never been the same.

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 18:13-14

“But the Lord asked Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, “Can I really have a baby when I’m old?” Is anything impossible for the Lord? At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

There’s a genre of kids movie that could be called the everything-goes-wrong film. Home Alone is a classic of this genre. So is the more recent film, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. In the movie, which is based on the classic children’s book of a generation ago, an increasingly ridiculous series of things happen to Alexander and his family. The comedy is not simply that one of these possible-but-unlikely events happens to the family, but that the whole series of them do all in a row. Sometimes it seems like that’s how God works.

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 3:15

“I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Brokenness was never supposed to be the state of things. When God designed the world and everything in it, to a certain extent it all reflected His image. It was all good. All of it. So good. As Moses describes God creating one thing after another, you can almost hear Him whistling while He worked He was so tickled at the goodness of it all. It’s like you felt when you were working on a big project and every single detail was falling exactly into place only on a much, much grander scale. It was all so good. And then it wasn’t. But brokenness was never supposed to be the state of things.

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