With only one more Sunday left in Advent, we are quickly making our way toward Christmas. I have enjoyed the Old Testament passages that have carried us along in the story of God over the past few months. Since the Sunday after Labor Day, we have been working through parts of God’s story. You probably recognize a pattern. God establishes his people. The people then rebel or turn away, and God rescues them. Over and over, God has been active in saving his people. All the while, God has been pointing ahead to a time when he will save his people once and for all. This week, we open the New Testament. Finally, the Old Testament promises come to fruition as Jesus makes his way onto the scene.
This Sunday, we will be in Matthew 1:18-25. While we often read the Christmas story from Luke, Matthew takes a different approach. Matthew wants us to see the big picture. He begins by connecting the coming of Jesus with the stories we have been talking about over the past few months. He then centers on Joseph and his encounter with an angel. Joseph is instructed to name Jesus and is told that all that all of the crazy circumstances he is experiencing is a part of God’s plan.
(Matthew 1:22-23 NIV) All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Join us on Sunday morning in combined service at 10:45 AM on this final Sunday of Advent. We will gather again on Christmas Eve at 7 PM for special candlelight communion service.