“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.'” – Matthew 1:18-21
The Christmas story is a story of reconciliation. It is God coming into our “space” and restoring our relationship with Him that was broken by the wrecking ball of our sin. It was the clearest expression of love (John 3:16) that this earth has ever seen and it was culminated at the cross.
“And God demonstrated His love for us in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
Reconciliation does not always come easy and it always begins with someone taking the first step. When love and forgiveness are extended. When the separation in the relationship can no longer be tolerated. This is our God. This is our Christmas story. We were separated, afraid and helpless…dead in our sins, but “God so loved the world…” There is no other way to say it! God loves us and did what needed to be done for us to be reconciled to Him. He took the first step. Our pride and shame had created a gap to great for us to cross. We had grown used to the darkness and were resolved to living this life with nothing more than a “dream and a wish” for eternity.
Then came Christmas! And the Almighty Creator said it again, “Let there be light!”
To respond to this love takes faith. It requires us to trust God with our hearts, our lives and our circumstances. In today’s Scripture we find a struggling carpenter caught between a rock and a hard place. His fiancé is pregnant and he is not the father. A terrible storm has come across the sea of his life and he doesn’t know what to do. He wanted to do the right thing but he also wanted to show mercy for the love of his life. Then it came. God speaking again, “Let there be light”…and Joseph was able to see his circumstances through in the light of the Master Designer and he believed. He probably did not understand it all but he understood that God had a plan and he trusted Him.
The Christmas story is God shining His light on His plan for each of us. If we will trust Him and come into the light of His salvation we can experience the reconciliation that He has extended to us.
“For unto us a child is born!”