A Note from Pastor Wood

And Mary said to the angel [Gabriel], “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And the angel answered here, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God”                 ~Luke 1:34–37

“Is there anything too difficult for the Lord?” This was the question the Lord posed to Abraham when he promised him that within the year Sarah would have a son. Sarah laughed just as Abraham laughed at the promise in Gen. 17:17, but the Lord fulfilled his promise. Genesis 21 tells us that the Lord visited Sarah and the Lord gave Abraham a son according to his promise. He worked a similar miracle for Zechariah and Elizabeth, giving them a son, John, in their old age. And now with Mary God takes it up a notch and gives to her a child even though she has never known a man. The virgin conceives. Every promise God makes becomes possible when he makes it.

Many people today claim that you cannot really know God. The claim is that God is bigger than any one religion. No single teaching can confine the creator of the universe. People are generally fine with the concept of God. Some sort of divine presence is at least some comfort to people. It gives all people a common claim to dignity and purpose. Beyond that however, every person is free to do whatever is in their own heart.

The blessed story of Christmas shatters the worldview that declares you cannot put God in a box. It destroys the idea that God is too big for one religion or teaching. Nothing is impossible with God means that, yes, he can place himself in a box. And Christmas is the celebration of God doing just that. The Holy Spirit comes upon Mary and the Son of God is placed inside her womb! The Son of God is then born and named and placed in a manger. Christmas literally puts God in a box. That is, God puts His Son in a box so that we can know Him and know our Heavenly Father by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Son of God lowers Himself in the incarnation in order to give us confidence. He sends His Spirit even upon us to show us in concrete ways, by Word and Sign, that he knows us, calls us by name, and we are following the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Advent we waited and hoped with certainty. In Christmas we celebrate and rejoice that certainty has been given to us in the Incarnation of the Son of God.                 

…Pastor Wood