Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, ……….


Wsilhouette-of-jesus-christho was  conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.”I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth…..

So few words; so much deep meaning.  When we repeat this phrase of the Apostle’s Creed we are affirming our belief that from the get go this baby Jesus was completely unique from every other human baby; that from the moment of conception God was at work for our good; that somehow the fullness of God was encompassed in this child and the man he became; that he was, mysteriously,  100% divine. The importance of this affirmation has nothing to do with biology but everything to do with our certainty that the God of the whole universe loved each of us so deeply that He got down on hands and knees and crawled up into a dirty manger to make that love real and personal.

But the other end of the phrase is equally important:  that Jesus WAS born, as you and I were born, through the messiness and pain and difficulty of childbirth.  That means that somehow, although 100% divine, he was also 100% human, just like you and me.  He lived in a broken world, just as you and I live in a broken world.  He faced betrayal, and loss, and grief, and temptation, and suffering, and death, just as you and I must sometimes face those things.  When we run into something that threatens to undo us, we can run to him in confidence, knowing that he has been there before us, and therefore understands, as only one who has been then can understand.

When you put those things together, you realize that you can look at how he treated folks who were fallen and failed and broken and you know how God treats folks who are fallen and failed and broken:  he redeems them, respects them, honors them, heals them, commissions them, and calls them to a higher standard of life without condemnation.

When you look at his life, you know what our life is supposed to look like:  we are to forgive without measure, turn the other cheek, give up worrying about the future and lean on Him, give up accumulating wealth to keep us safe.  None of us can do any of that on our own, but through his Spirit, which lives within us, we can do it all, if we will allow him to change us, bit by bit, into his image.  This is our destiny:  to be changed from one degree of glory into another, not by striving, not by giving it the good old college try, but by yielding to the work of the Spirit that is within us.  That is a story that needs to be shared.


Pastor Deborah

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