This month we will be sharing a collection of short readings by Northeastern Seminary alumni as they reflect on and rejoice in the gifts of God's grace and the signs of Christ present during this Advent Season. Today's guest post was written by Yulanda McKinney.
As we enter this season of prayer and fasting in the name of our Lord, Matthew 1:18-23 allows us to reflect on the importance of order in every Christian’s life, and the reason why we set aside this special time of the year to celebrate not only the birth of Jesus Christ, but the coming of our blessed Savior.
“The way” in which Jesus Christ was born had everything to do with what would follow his planned coming. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit before Mary and Joseph came together, and was not born until after they married. Joseph considered hiding Mary away until after the birth, but before Joseph could follow through, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.
The angel not only established the order of Jesus’ life and work, but he told how, why, and its relevance to humanity then, and the body of Christ now. Emmanuel, being interpreted “God with us”, was not happenstance, but the fulfillment of a divine plan, a prophecy.
As we find ourselves considering the gifts and way of our Lord this Advent season, let us remember that our steps, like Jesus’, have been ordered by the FATHER. Let us remember that while the ways of the FATHER may exceed our comprehension, GOD’s love and compassion for us are undeniable, as reflected through HIS gift, HIS Son. Let us also consider Jesus’ firm reply to our brother Thomas’ question which resounds through the ages ever so clearly, and bless the holy name of Jesus for HIS coming—“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him” (John 14.5-7).
To God be all glory.
Yulanda McKinney, M.A. ‘04, founding and senior pastor of Abiding Faith Christian Fellowship Church also serves as professor of English at Monroe Community College, both in Rochester, N.Y.