Hope Is Born
by Impact Church
Luke 1: 28…The angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 38 Then Mary said, Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.
Intelligence and skilled hands may make a useful product and an artist or architect may transfer conceivings to canvas or contractor, but the very concept of birth is unquestioned genius. And we may with excellence promote the passing of ideas, mannerisms, words and knowledge through teaching and association, but this birth idea speaks of another realm. It’s one thing to transfer how-to, style and ideas to another, but imparting the very essence of one’s mind, heart and ability, well… that belongs to the wisdom of another One. And the Wisdom that created all that is seen or ever will be has life created and contingent on the intimacy of two.
As Mary’s virtuous body was selected by the Holy Spirit to bring the Son of God into the world, subject also to that unorthodox assignment was her heart and mind. And it was from her humbled submission in body and soul to the angel’s declaration that Hope was given entrance into our hopeless world! (And how strangely, preposterously, far out is that!) Yet when the weak are willing to trust the only One worthy of trust, then do we see and experience the unexpectedly impossible. What the world itself for ages had been unable to restore through exhaustive rehab strivings of men (whether legal, moral, social or religious); the Grace of God birthed its Restorer through the faith-opened heart of a young, unknown woman! Say what you will… to see common trust unite with divine Grace to offer the world an otherwise unattainable forgiveness of sins, eternal life and a bodily resurrection too! To ignore that miracle of Grace is to miss the grandest of all invitations to believe!
God chose one frail human frame to birth the Redeemer into the world in order to offer the entire world, every single human being ever formed or will be, the joy of His indwelling Presence by faith! And now that He’s come, He’s come to stay! Not to be with us so much as be in us! Not hold our hands so much as guide our hearts! Not see Him so much with our eyes as know Him with our hearts! Not wonder if He’ll leave us as much as know He can’t! He didn’t come to simply help us, heal us, comfort us or even forgive us, as if He were only another friend, doctor or sacrificial lamb; No, He came to be in us, forever! And be in us also in the fullness of all His life offers! So for that Christmas day long ago, when Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit, gave birth to the Son of God in the bad side of town- for that day, this is our day! The Day of hope for all people! The Grace that brought Life and Light to the gloom, despair, darkness and hopelessness in their day has now come to the darkness and dysfunction of ours! Joy to the world, The Lord is come!
So Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus! And from that one birth- isolated and obscure, yet divine- lies the hope of all mankind! Not a medication, a list of dos and don’ts, a power ranger celebrity, social reformer, politician, military expert, mysterious figure or fable- but the power of a perfectly new being through birth! What an outlandish concept! That all we’d ever be, want, have or do could eternally exist in those who open up to the One the shepherds worshipped is no more than jaw-dropping Grace! Yet the very One who quieted the storms, fed the hungry, raised the dead and healed the sick is now simply asking to come into our hearts. And the One who opened the blind hearts of the self-righteous, the racists, the haters, the abusers and the violent- to them He also came to restore and redeem. And He’d do all of that to all of us by entering the womb of our opened hearts! And knowing that He who did all things well then would also have His image come forth from those who believe! What a story! What a Gospel! What a God!
So, in celebration now of the birth of the Majestic One, the Hope, the Light, the Truth, the Love: may our shelved dreams be revived, our lost hope be regained, our covered beauty be revealed, our forgotten talents be renewed and our broken hearts be restored! The season of new possibilities and newly available Grace is waiting at the doors of our hearts! And thus agreeing with the angel’s declaration to Mary, we also believe that, “with God all things are possible”! And though the hope, the vision, the joy, the anticipation may be minimal and unnoticed by some, be certain it is born within you! Trust that the very Word that became flesh and dwelt among us is also in our bodies creating His likeness in those who’ll humbly consent to His presence! Hope is born where Christ is received, hence His glory inevitably follows!