Isaiah 9:6-7, Matthew 1:18-21
December 24, 2017
preached by Doug Cooper
Time of Reflection Quotations
“Anyone thinking of the Holy Child as born in December would mean by it exactly what we mean by it; that Christ is not merely a summer sun of the prosperous, but a winter fire for the unfortunate.”
~ G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), English writer, orator, philosopher and lay theologian
“Into this world, this demented inn in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited.”
~ Thomas Merton (1915-1968), American Trappist monk, writer and theologian
“The joy of God goes through the poverty of the manger and the agony of the cross; that is why it is invincible, irrefutable. It does not deny the anguish, when it is there, but finds God in the midst of it, in fact precisely there; it does not deny grave sin but finds forgiveness precisely in this way; it looks death straight in the eye but finds life precisely within it.”
“Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.”
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), German pastor, author and theologian
“Part of why God puts us in each other’s lives is to create tension for us, a redemptive pressure, that has potential to improve our character. If love and friendship aren’t leading us to grow in the virtues of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, then love and friendship are malfunctioning in some way.”
~ Scott Sauls, contemporary pastor and author
“You only love your friend truly, after all, when you love God in your friend, either because He is in him, or in order that He may be in him. That is true love and respect. There is no true friendship unless you weld it between souls that cling together by the charity poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Spirit.”
~ Saint Augustine (354-430, North African bishop, writer, theologian and philosopher
Isaiah 9:6-7, Matthew 1:18-21 (NIV)
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 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.”