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In praise of the glory of his grace

by davesandel on December 8th, 2018

In praise of the glory of his grace

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing. He chose us in him before the foundation of the world. So we praise the glory of his grace, which he granted us in the beloved. We exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ. – From Ephesians 1

Three times now in our lifetimes we have been approached by our children, held in silence by a kind of a hush, their wide eyes sparkling, hints of smile, dimples wide. There’s something they can’t wait to say.

“We’re going to have a baby!”

The mom and dad thing is no longer our monopoly. Our kids have turned away from paths of less resistance and chosen the way of parenthood, diapers, nighttime fears, busting laughter from the gut, smiles of plenty, comfort, casualty and pain. Hold on tight, the baby’s comin’! Stand up and face the music. No … play the music … sing for joy!

Blessings get no better. We get to feel like God a bit; we have chosen these people before the foundation of the world. Our kinship is unquestioned. And so we praise the glory of God’s grace, which he grants us in our beloved. We exist as one being, one family tree, one whole part for the praise of his glory. We, who first hoped in Christ.

On this day, this “Solemnity,” Mary learned that she was pregnant. Jesus is coming! This is the day we remind each other of what she heard from the angel. All the fall-aways of our past turned aside and forgotten. The enmity and curses pronounced in the garden no longer hold. Eve, the mother of all the living, has been succeeded by Mary, the mother of the one who gives all life.

“Behold,” the angel said to Mother Mary. “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. Of his kingdom there will be no end. The child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”

On Sunday evening we visited the first church planted in Champaign County. These First Church Urbana Methodists hosted a performance of Handel’s Messiah. The famous music, alive in voice and horns and strings, stunned me with its beauty. It was as if I heard the words for the first time.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, unto us … And the government shall be upon is shoulders. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”

Hold on now. Breathe … the baby’s coming! Rejoice together. Always and forever, we are the family of God.

Put the trumpet to our lips, Lord, and let us blow the song of joy. Together we make the music of the spheres, of the family, of the quiet night on a hill, surprised by the crowning moment of history, all now forever.

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