The Fourth Sunday of Advent

“Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way…” — Gospel of Matthew 1:18

We have come to the final Sunday of Advent… we have been anticipating, hoping, longing for God’s kingdom to come. And what we see first is a child, a birth, a beginning. It’s how all things come into the world: small, seemingly insignificant… almost hidden-like. Even God’s kingdom would begin that way—what this child would later refer to as a “mustard seed”.

But the birth not only took place in that way, but it also brought with it the threat of public disgrace. The entrance of God’s Messiah into the world would be inseparably wrapped up with a contested, controversial and perhaps even sinful birth. To receive this child those doing so would have to be willing to face the public disgrace in the strength of the truth. But isn’t it always that way with Jesus? “Look he eats with sinners and befriends them!”

That was not meant as a compliment to Jesus but as a demonstration of his “shame”.

Thank God that the birth of the Messiah took place in this way—a way that doesn’t forget our shame, but rather transforms it into glory by taking our shame into himself. See you on Sunday!




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