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Posted By disciple

Wedding preparations

    As the media and the secular world strive to decide the reason for the Christmas holidays and how to greet one another, I find myself immersed in the Christmas story.  The story tells us that in the sixth month of the Jewish calendar a little over two thousand years ago the angel Gabriel was sent by God to the city Nazareth.  His divine order was to find a virgin who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. This virgin’s name was Mary.  So the Christmas story begins.  The angel Gabriel approaches Mary, a virgin, with this greeting.  “Rejoice highly favored one, the Lord God is with you”, Luke1:28!
    What kind of greeting was this anyway.  No hello, or shalom or my name is….., just a simple definitive statement, REJOICE favored one.  The greeting actually startled the young virgin and the angel went on to tell her not to be afraid that God was about to bless her with a child, not just any child, but the Christ child. 
    The drama intensifies knowing that Mary is in the Jewish betrothal process. According to their custom Mary would have been picked as Joseph’s wife by his father, and then Mary would have established a dowry for Joseph to pay.  Once this was done a covenant or marital contract was made between the two of them, and then they went through a traditional  immersion ceremony which was symbolic of a spiritual cleansing allowing them to prepare for the wedding itself. 
    Their betrothal started at this point and was to last about a year.  During this time they lived apart abstaining from any sexual contact.  Joseph was preparing a place for them to live while Mary prepared for the wedding ceremony.  They did not know the date of the wedding.  You see it was up to Joseph’s father to decide and announce when the ceremony would take place.  All of this was going on in Mary’s life when the angel appeared telling her she would conceive as a virgin. 
    God sure does work in mysterious ways doesn’t He.  Would you consider this?  Because of God’s plan to become flesh through the miraculous conception of the virgin Mary, Jesus was born.  As a result, every Christian is preparing for another divine wedding ceremony which is their very own with God.  According to Jewish custom, which was ordained and designed by God, the Lord has chosen the church to be the bride of Christ.  Think about it, Jesus has accepted the dowry for our freedom.  He paid this with His blood on that cross.  We were immersed through our baptism and the acceptance of Christ sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. Our betrothal process is under way right now and only the Father God knows the time and the date of the actual wedding ceremony. 
    Where are you in this process?  Are you a part of Jesus’ church?  Have you accepted the covenant between bride and groom.  Jesus is preparing a place for you to live eternally in the heavens above and we are to be preparing for the ceremony itself, which means to be honoring our covenant with God.  I would suggest you get out as many invitations to this wedding as possible so none of your family or loved ones miss it.  In other words introduce them to Jesus.
    With this knowledge, there should be no problem greeting anyone during this time of year. It is simply and joyfully “MERRY CHRISTMAS”.                           Pastor Terry

1 Comment(s):
Terry Schuchert said...
Dear Pastor Terry, I was just reading your web site and see that we missed the Retreat again this summer. I did not realize it was last weekend. Rege and I took a walk down to the pond last night and were commenting on the altar. He was making plans to have it redone before the retreat thinking it was to be held later in the summer. I feel so bad it was not done for this years event. We have been working so hard on our cabin. Please stop by anytime you see a light on. We still plan on fixing the altar. Again I apologize for not having it done for 2011's retreat. Terry
July 12, 2011 3:59 PM
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