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Dec 3, 2017 Luke 1:1-25 - The foretold birth of John the Baptizer
Dec 10, 2017 Luke 1:57-80 - The birth of God's messenger
Dec 24, 2017 Luke 1:26-56 - (morning) The foretold birth of Jesus
Dec 24, 2017 Luke 2:1-20 - (candlelight) The birth of God's Savior
Dec 31, 2017 Luke 2:21-40 - (renewal) The hope of good things to come
In a strange way the early chapters of Genesis have set the stage for Advent. It was there we found God's design and desire for creation, humanity's responsibility, the effects of sin, and God's commitment to bless all people through a nation of his own. By the time we get to the New Testament, God's chosen nation had been through rebellion, exile, and return. Although they were living in the land of promise, they were under the rule of a foreign power, their king was appointed by that same foreign power, and their temple was more about party politics than actual worship of their God. Many of the people were assimilating into a Greco-Roman lifestyle, many were poor and suffering, and many were living in expectation that God would do something dramatic to free them.
For all that expectation no one seemed to be expecting God to do what he actually did, least of all Zechariah. But through a series of coincidences, Zechariah was chosen to burn incense in the temple, was visited by an angel, was promised a son (not unlike Abraham) even though his wife was barren, and was struck mute as a sign. This was not how people anticipated the good news to begin, but, again and again, we encounter a God in Scripture who works beyond our wildest imaginings.
Advent is all about human waiting and divine timing, and the strange way these two intersect. As we retell the familiar stories of old, may it encourage us in our own waiting and help us to look for God working in the most unlikely of places.
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