I apologize to you, all the people of the world. I apologize for my part in making Christmas necessary. I have learned that Christ is NOT the reason for the season, I am. It's true. All the sin and shame I bear for all my wrongdoings have made it a necessity for Christ to come in the form of a man, being born of a virgin.
Since there exist in the heart these two things- a consciousness of sin and a perception of God's chastisement, the heart must ever be depressed, faint, even terrified. It must be the just and the righteous who are to rejoice in the Lord. First we must be liberated from our sins and perceive a merciful God.
In week two of the Advent series, Daniel and Erick are joined by Elyse Fitzpatrick. They look at Luke 1:26-38 and discuss the role of Mary and other women in God’s promise of bringing a savior. And they find out what Elyse’s favorite Christmas hymn is. It’s another great conversation to get you ready for Christmas.
God's grace and mercy in Jesus Christ calls all sinners to a celebration. A "those who sat in darkness have seen a great light" kind of celebration. A "come to Bethlehem and see the new-born Savior" revelry. Like two divine sheepdogs, God's grace and mercy hound every person in the world to join the festivities.
The people are now angry with Moses and Aaron and come up with a very old Adam reason that everything is Moses’ fault. Moses prays but God has had enough and strikes the people with a plague. Aaron runs down into the middle of death to stand between the wrath of God and the people. And a strange test involving staffs is done resulting in something that the church has connected to the nativity. Chad and Daniel talk about all of this.
At this time of year a lot of emphasis is placed on being good. Elves on Shelves everywhere are watching our behavior and snitching to Santa, who is making up his all important list of those who have been naughty and those who have been nice. The parable above, however, sets forth something so counter to that way of thinking that we all have a very difficult time wrapping our minds around it.