December 24, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
Another key theme in Luke's Christmas Story is that of mercy. Grace is receiving what we do not deserve, but mercy is not receiving what we do deserve. We see this mercy in the birth of John the Baptist to the family of Zechariah when God takes away Elizabeth's disgrace and gives Zechariah a son. But this is only a picture of the greater mercy that is received by the family of God when Jesus becomes both the new King through the covenant of David and also the necessary Covenant Keeper of the covenant God had made with Abraham. Jesus is the covenant keeper in that He received what we deserve (punishment) in order for us to receive God's mercy.
December 17, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
After Mary realized that the promised Savior has indeed been conceived within her by the Holy Spirit, she sings for us a beautiful song. God gave her, a poor, young servant girl, a voice that continues to sing for us over 2,000 years later. Mary could sing this way because she recognized that having Christ in her was the greatest blessing she could ever have, far surpassing any other earthly blessing she could ever hope for, and far exceeding what the powers of this world could ever achieve.
December 10, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
Luke's story of Christmas shows us how God's grace is so important to the Christmas story. The angel appeared to Mary and proclaimed straight up that she was to be a recipient of God's grace. Then as the proclamation continued, we see how this grace was an operation of the Triune God and that through this grace a powerless young girl would receive the power of the Most High. Mary's ability to receive and respond to this message from the angel is also the working of God's grace. In all of this Mary models for us how all true believers are receivers of God's amazing grace.
December 3, 2017 - Richard Britton