December Message from the Pastor

The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 2, verses 1-7

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Ancient prophecy had been fulfilled. The Messiah had arrived. Have you ever noticed the coincidence that Joseph and Mary had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem in order to be properly registered with the census? I’m sure the bouncing animal ride may have prompted Mary’s contractions; certainly, Joseph’s transportation was not equipped with the finest shock absorbers. Yet, what a shock it was that the Lord conceived of a way to get Mary to Bethlehem , right where God wanted Jesus to be birthed. A coincidence?

And what about the absence of any lodging for the happy couple? Most of you know what that was like recently when you struggled to get off Tybee and Wilmington Islands before the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, right? Imagine how difficult it would have been for this young couple to find suitable – and I mean “My wife is pregnant” suitable – at a time when the Emperor just happened to call for a census. The innkeeper’s response was akin to, “Well, you can stay in the garage with all the parked cars.” A coincidence?

When one of God’s prophecies is fulfilled, and as we read about them in the Holy Scriptures, there is no mistaking the clarity with which God speaks to the prophets. Not only Jesus’ birth, but his death and resurrection are shared with the prophets; one wonders why, then, the disciples of Jesus were so confused when Jesus said, “I will die, but will rise again in three days” for this action would not be a coincidence but rather the fulfillment of prophecy.

Every day we all have the opportunity to look at life for what it truly is – a series of events that play perfectly into God’s ideal for humanity and for the world. We grow in excitement and in anticipation when we truly remember the words of God in God’s covenantal prophecies. We can be witnesses to this throughout Advent, through the 12 days of Christmas, and through the Epiphany season.

To God be the Glory for all God has done and Merry Christmas,

Pastor Steve