25 Days of Advent: Forged for our Hope – Day 24
When We’re Tempted to Flee
The rain began to pour from the clouds with a greater fury than moments before, hitting the window pane leaving blurry streaks on the glass. The grass is an unusual shade of green for this time of the year. Blades of bright green grace the ground looking more like Easter is on the horizon than Christmas.
For those of us in colder climates, many of us long for the gentle presence of a white Christmas. Soft, wet, fluffy snow that twirls down from the clouds in the sky like the sparkly flakes inside a snow globe. We love it when the waters freeze so that ice skating may commence, and hot chocolate does its duty warming us from the inside out.
Perhaps it is because the presence of a pure white blanket of snow reminds our soul of the purity held within a clean slate. There lies deep within us a desire for all that is unclean to be washed away and unblemished once again.
Perhaps that is why it was of purity that the Messiah would come into this tarnished world. He would be born of a virgin, His conception one orchestrated by the very hand of the Father, nestled within the womb of one God knew possessed a submitted heart and obedient spirit.
Isaiah 7:14, Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Jesus was born unto this virgin, His mother Mary, when she was around the tender age of fifteen. A girl on the brink of womanhood, she was betrothed to Joseph and found herself with child. Joseph was unwilling to bring shame upon Mary deciding to divorce her quietly, but an angel appeared in a dream encouraging him to take Mary as his wife for the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was informed by the angel that the child would be a son and his name would be Jesus. This child was a gift from God to the world to save His people from their sin. Scripture tells us that all this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
Matthew 1:22-23, All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
We are forged for our hope when we can allow Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, wipe our heart and soul clean of all our sin and unrighteousness making us pure before the Father once again. We cannot allow the mistakes of our past keep us walking in the mucky pits that litter the surface of this world.
And God did not send a Messiah that would simply cover our sins with a blanket of purity but completely remove the impurities themselves. We too may be reborn in purity. But some impurities are imbedded a little deeper than others perhaps causing the forging take a little longer. But no matter how long the forging, no matter how deep our impurities may go, He came with the name Immanuel for He is with us through it all.
Father, create in me a clean heart, wiping away my impurities and unrighteousness for I long to be made holy; set apart for you in this world. In Jesus name, amen.