Day 5 & 6 are combined because there is so much to unpack here, and because we spent last night at the doctor's office with baby Emma, who we found out has RSV. Sick babies are a lot of work, patience, and worrying. But the same hope that I explain in this post is the same hope that gives us strength to care for this beautiful baby we have been entrusted with.
We often see the hope of Christ in familiar passages like Isaiah 9:6;
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.
This hope for the Messiah was long awaited by the people of Israel. But, fun fact, Jesus never referred to himself as the Christ, or Messiah. Instead, as we will learn in the video below, He referenced himself as the "Son of Man."
It is so important to understand the hope that is in the coming of the Messiah in a manger; the "Son of Man." It is even more important to acknowledge and appreciate how this promised Messiah that was hoped for and promised, humbled himself to be fully man, born of a woman - a virgin in fact - and in a manger, no less.
I love the way Paul illustrates the reason for our Savior to take on humanity;
'To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! ' Romans 5:13-15
Hope seemed lost in Eden, but the promised hope of restoration for God's people was already known, planned, calculated, accounted for. The beast may have thought he won, but there was a man, a "Son of Man" who would come and conquer the beast, once and for all.
And that son was born the son of a virgin and a carpenter, the son of God and of Man. That son was born in a manger one cold and starry night. That son is the hope we have in our redemption story. That son is the reason for the season.
It is only through this son that the plan for our salvation - afforded in the Garden that fateful day when the world was created - could be accomplished. It would take the suffering of God incarnate to pay our debt. And it is by His birth, His suffering, & His resurrection that we, right here, right now, right in the center of this Advent season, can persevere and hope for a new day to come.
'through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. ' Romans 5:2-3,5