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making the connection | December 23 & 24, 2017

December 21, 2017

Try for a moment to put yourself in Joseph’s shoes. He’s excited about being engaged and looking forward to what life will be like with Mary. And then it happens. He receives the news that somehow Mary is pregnant. How can this be?! All he knows is that it wasn’t him. How could Mary betray him like this? Who’s the guy? If you were Joseph, you would be filled with hurt, frustration, and a deep sense of disappointment. The future you envisioned is now gone.

But wait, just like the surprise twist in a good story, God lets Joseph in on His plan and the role their family will play. An angel tells Joseph, “do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Really?! How? Does God do this sort of thing? But what if this is really true? This would be incredible! The Savior of the world would come into the world through our family. Why would God pick us? I can only imagine the conversations that Mary and Joseph had. What started out as a story of disgrace and shame turned into one filled with hope.

I know none of us can match this turn of events in our lives. However, I hope you have experienced God take what seems like a hopeless, dead-end situation and turn it around. God is all about taking the messes in our lives and turning things around. God knows the pain, disappointment, and brokenness that living in this world brings. He sent Jesus to live among us for a while so we could better relate to God and see first-hand His incredible love for us. I want to encourage you to look to God for help and guidance to get you walking on a path of hope. Maybe you have something you are facing that seems pretty hopeless. Give God a chance to speak into your life and show you what redemption looks like.

Be encouraged with these words written about Jesus from Hebrews 4:15-16, This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.  So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Scott Nieveen


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