The Grace of God Extended

Christ Birthday Offering Theme 2010This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  – Matthew 1:18-20

Mary was pregnant and unmarried.  Surely, she faced harsh judgment from her rabbi and synagogue; after all, this was a once-in-creation situation! Joseph was God’s special choice for Mary that kept her from harm and provided a safe haven for God’s Son during His most vulnerable years.  Perhaps this should make us stop and think when we prejudge others in situations that we perceive as “sinful.” How might the lives of Mary and Joseph have been different if their community had believed in them?

We need to examine the places where we expect to see God as well as those where we don’t believe we will find Him.  If we are willing to show grace to all and expect God’s presence everywhere, we will not only be surprised, but transformed.

– Pastor Daniel Kihm

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