GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
Can It Really Be True?
Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-25
Last week we
read and considered how God was working to fulfill the promise made to Israel
through the prophet Isaiah 700 years earlier. First the one who would pave the
way for the Savior was announced. John would be born to two righteous people
who had tried their best to honor God during their lives. However, Zechariah
and Elizabeth had felt left out by God since they had been unable to have
children. Now they were seemingly at an age that children would not happen only
to find out God would bless them with a special son. Their son, John, would
prepare the way for the Savior. In spite of the fact they were beyond the
normal age for having children, God began his plan to redeem the world in this
we once again read how God is going to bring the Savior to the world. We first
read of how God would use a young woman with no special social standing to bear
the Savior. An angel visited Mary and explained how it would all come to be.
Mary understood how children came about and knew that it was impossible for
this to happen before Joseph and her were actually married. As is the case with
God, there was a plan that goes beyond what we might think is possible. The son
born to Mary would be unlike any baby ever born before and unlike any baby that
would be born after. Just as God created the world from nothing, God would
cause this baby to be formed and born as only God could do. Mary had questions
for the angel about how this could really happen but the angel assured her
God’s hand and blessing was upon all these things and they would happen just as
she was told. Mary was even told of the first miracle in which her relative
Elizabeth was going to have a son that would also be important to God’s plan.
to do whatever the Lord wanted her to do, which then leads us to the man in
Mary’s life. An angel spoke to Joseph in a dream. In the dream Joseph was told
what was going to happen with Mary, the woman he was pledged to marry. Before
the angel spoke to him Mary apparently told Joseph of the visit she had from an
angel explaining everything that was about to happen. The fact is Joseph did
not believe her. Joseph thought of how to quietly end the engagement. That is
when the angel spoke to Joseph in the dream. The angel explained how God was
going to bring everything about. The angel then assured Joseph that Mary was a
faithful woman who had not done anything wrong. It was important for Mary to
have a husband throughout all of this and Joseph had been chosen by God, just
as Mary had, to be the Savior’s earthly father as he grew to manhood.
We read that
just as Mary agreed to do as she had been instructed by the angel Joseph agreed
as well. Earlier I said Mary had no special social standing but the fact is
both Mary and Joseph fulfilled the earlier prophecy about the Messiah by having
King David as their distant relative.
When we read
about all of these things and how everything happened just as God had said it
would, I still cannot help but think we miss how miraculous everything that
happened really was. We read how all four of these people agreed to everything
they were told. And then we see it all happened exactly as God had planned. All
of these key people, at some point probably asked the question first of all,
“Am I crazy? Is what I think I have been told really going to happen? Nothing
like this has ever happened before. Why us, why now?”
this Sunday put yourself in Mary or Joseph’s shoes. What would you be thinking?
Would you ask yourself over and over again, “Can this really be true?”
getting closer and closer. We are only two weeks from Christmas day. As we
celebrate once again the season of miracles, may we try as best we can to
understand how amazing everything God has done and continues to do is. May the
stories we have reread the past two Sundays be more than just really neat
stories from the Bible. May God help us understand how everything that was done
happened because of his love for us and that everything talked about is
impossible to have happened without God’s hand being up on the events. These are
not everyday events we are reading. May we never lose the wonder of it all. And
in a way it makes perfect sense for us to question at least for a minute, “Can
it really be true?” Not because we doubt God or have no faith in God, but
because what happened is truly only possible with God.
once again see the faithfulness of a young man and a young woman who were
willing to do what God asked them to do. In part, because of their faithfulness
we celebrate the Christmas season yet again.
Tuesday 9:30 Bible Study
A Christmas greeting from the District and greetings
from others are on the east bulletin board.
December 14 Board Meeting—current and incoming members 6:15
exec committee; 7:00 commissions; 7:30 board with reorganization to follow
December 21 7:00 pm Christmas Service
Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank
you for your continued giving!
Donation Box: The Lord’s Storehouse
First Sundays: food donations for food banks
Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362
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in Your Prayers
Family of Leah Flory; Jonah
Martina; Jan Bower; Larry Traxler; Michelle West; Carolyn Hirsch; Eli Brunner; Nancy
Fansler; Joe Waltz; Doug Larrick; Anna Rose Larrick; Ron & Kathleen
Petersen; Anna Gentry Thompson; Louis & Carol Sulwer; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea
Wood; Tina Wilhelm; Tate Sawyer; Bryce Ashenfelter; Mindy Sawyer; Marlene
Schultz; Sarah Rudelick; Carl and Wilma Cable; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler;
Candy Dobson; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Patty
Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests;
Coronavirus; healthcare workers and first responders; victims of disasters;
victims of shootings; shut-ins; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren; Ukraine;
Hope Welty Library; Florida; Puerto Rico; La Place congregation
Military and Other
Services and their families
Service workers; Disaster project workers
Calendar: Pray for the Hurricane Creek congregation near Mulberry Grove
of the Brethren vision statement:
Together, as the Church of the Brethren, we will passionately
live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ
through relationship-based neighborhood engagement. To move us forward, we will
develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative,
adaptable, and fearless.
Our Mission Statement:
God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.