2nd Week of Advent: the Really Good News -- GOD with US!

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.Luke 2:10 NIV

"The Good News isn't just that Jesus died for our sins.  The Good News is EMMANUEL...GOD WITH US!"  So declared Deb at the end of our Bible Study.

As John and I drove home that evening, we reflected on her statement.  We recalled a conversation we had had years before when we were discussing what the heart of the gospel ("Good News") is.   The Good News isn't just that our sins are forgiven so we can go to heaven someday (and now we just do the best we can in the meantime).

The heart of it all is GOD is with US!  In Christ's own Person, heaven and earth meet and kiss, so to speak!  In His very own Self, God and Man are forever joined.

Because of His Person and His Work, Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, joins those of us who were once enemies, alone and without hope, to the Living God.  Now we are friends of God, His children...dare we even say it? in union with Him! GOD with US!  And that is truly News that is GOOD!  And there's a Bible word for that -- reconciliation.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. Colossians 1:21-22 NIV

This week, rejoice in the truly Good News:  GOD with US!  No more chasm* between God and us...Emmanuel has come!  (Romans 5:1-11 and 2 Cor 5:16-21) Enjoy singing and meditating on this rich carol. We will explore it some more next time.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Hark!  The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.” Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies; With angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem Hark!  The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heaven adored; Christ the everlasting Lord! Late in time behold Him come, Offspring of a Virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail the incarnate Deity. Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel! Hark!  The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Son of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings. Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die. Born to raise the sons of earth; Born to give them second birth. Hark!  The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Readings for the 2nd Week of Advent:

Sunday -- John 5:17-24

Monday --John 5:25-47

Tuesday -- Matt 9:32-38

Wednesday -- Mark 8:27-38

Thursday -- Mark 9:33-37

Friday -- Mark 10:13-31

Saturday -- Luke 19:28-40

*Navigator Bridge illustration  This diagram is very familiar to many Christians.  But whether it's familiar or new to you, why not rehearse afresh the glory of our reconciliation through the Incarnate Christ, our Emmanuel.

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christmas trees at honey run 2011
christmas trees at honey run 2011