Monday, December 4, 2017

Exactly Where I Am

A couple weeks ago Dr. Jim Platt preached a sermon at church talking about the story of Thomas and how Jesus met him exactly where he was. Rather than condemn or leave Thomas to his doubts, he showed up and showed him what he needed to see in order to believe. Why? Because God loves us entirely too much to leave us where we are, even if we are there by our own choices or doubts. It doesn't mean we will respond to His invitation to step out of our choices or doubts, it just means that He's not going to stand idly by without doing someething to change it.

As I started the Loving My Actual Christmas Bible study I shared a few days ago, the first week says to read Psalm 96 and Matthew 1. Now Matthew 1 is not nearly as tedious to go through as Numbers, but reading a genealogy account is not quite the same as reading the Passion or the passion of Paul's letters. But (and there's always a but), I saw something today that I knew but didn't register with the magnitude it really needed to before.

We know from the Old Testament that Jesus was going to come from the house and lineage of David. The geneaology of Matthew 1 shows us the line to remind us of why Jesus is considered to be a part of that line, namely that Joseph, his earthly father, was.

Now, I totally believe that love can be blind. We can gloss over the flaws of those we have a deep and intense feeling for without a problem while others might gladly (although pointlessly) name them to our faces. And in the case of Joseph and Mary, regardless of how love blind might be, it simply can not ignore a belly that is clearly growing a child. And without context, "the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son" it would be nearly impossible to reconcile this truth.

But, before we even get to fulfillment of the prophecy referenced in Matthew 1:23, the angel of the Lord addresses Joseph as Joseph, son of David. Why? My assumption is that God wanted to remind Joseph of exactly who he was so that he could actually believe that the Christ child was conceived of the Holy Spirit and that Mary was not lying. 

Prior to this dream, Joseph had decided to divorce Mary quietly but instead God met him exactly where he was.....filled with doubts, questions, uncertainty, and compassion.....and gave him the exact information he needed to move confidently forward.

So the question we must now ask ourselves is where are we that we need Jesus to meet us and are we willing to keep our eyes open to see Him when He arrives?

Advent is the anticipation of Christ, the hope deferred that when fulfilled becomes a tree of life. As we go through this season until Christmas day, let's grow our roots deeper into the soil of who we know the Messiah is and let Him reveal Himself to us as uniquely as He knows He needs to be so that we can see Him for all He is.

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