christmas - a time to invite

A Time To Invite

December 22, 2022
Rob Cattalani
Rob Cattalani

The modern world is full of people who believe in Jesus, but for many He has not revolutionized their lives. The only explanation for this is they have not grasped the real meaning of the central promise of Christmas. That God is with us!

The true miracle of Christmas is that God — in the person of Jesus — forever entered the human story to save us.

Now when the Holy Spirit brings Jesus into history, much of what good people think is proper is contradicted. For example, Mary’s pregnancy before marriage was humiliating to Joseph and scandalous to their small community. And really everything about this story reminds us that God’s ways are not our ways.

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. 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.”

Matthew 1:20-21

The stated reason for this miracle birth is that Jesus came to save people from their sins. That expression is so familiar to us by now that we can’t imagine how contrary it was to the popular expectations of Jesus’ day. Most believed that when the Messiah came He would save His people from their enemies. This confusion continues today. Many still look to God to help change their circumstances but fail to see that their greater need is a changed heart.

It is here, however, that the promise of God being with us holds its greatest value. Only a human on the cross could atone for human sin. And we needed one whose humanity was joined by a divinity that could sustain it for this purpose. The virgin birth signals Jesus’ humanity without inherited sin. Here the unbroken line of sin was interrupted that allowed Jesus to live and to die for each of us. God is with us in our sin so He can save us from ourselves.

The great promise of Christmas is that God is with you in the person of the Holy Spirit. To choose to follow Him is not the common path and often not an easy one. But He promises to be with us in our troubles as He carefully works out His greater purposes for our lives. This is God’s great gift and the very heart of Christmas.

This timeless message of hope is centered in the Gospel and will be the focus of my Christmas Eve message. I hope to see you at one of our services along with a friend who has yet to experience the salvation offered to all in Jesus Christ.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

About The Author

Rob Cattalani
Rob Cattalani

Pastor Rob grew up in Rochester where he came to know Christ in his first year of college. After a couple years at the Xerox Corporation he decided to pursue a Masters of Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. Pastor Rob was a pastor in Texas for nine years and then served as a missionary in Europe for a year. He answered the call to be Browncroft’s Senior Pastor in 2005, and his favorite part of his job is teaching and preaching God’s Word.

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