December’s Newsletter

Dear Friends,

My favorite verse is John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we behold His glory, glory of the only begotten Son from the Father, filled with grace and truth.” I love this verse because it expresses the gospel and the heart of God.

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It shows the heart of God because in this act of Christ coming to earth, we experience the love of God. God did not wish for us to be abandoned, nor did God ask us to find our way back to Him. Instead, God came to us as we are—a human. We call this the “Incarnation”. It is God becoming flesh, like we are, and demonstrating how we are to become. The Incarnation lets us know that God understands the plight of being human, the sorrow and the joy. God knows the trials and temptations of our life. God become flesh gives us a model of how we are to live and how we are to deal with the variety of situations that face us each and every day.

The manner in which we see the model of how to live is found in Jesus. Jesus lived in grace and truth. He did not lift up one concept over the other. He lived grace—radical forgiveness—forgiving us of our sins, giving us a way to be free of the stain of sin and thus able to live a godly life. Jesus lived truth. He did not say to live however we wanted—He gave us a standard, a set of behaviors in which we can achieve godliness and thus come closer to God and to the person God created us to be.

This is the gospel because God did not ask us to save ourselves. Instead, God gave a portion of who He is, the Christ, and came to earth in order that we may be saved through Him. In the Incarnation, we also see the true nature of God. This action shows us the heart of God—that He came to be with us and ultimately to save us.

During this time of the year, we can celebrate a God who loves us and also a God who saves us. We are saved to live in community with each other. At St. Andrew, we show this by how we live together—grounded in grace, living in love, and growing for God.

In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Mark