Dec 7 - What’s Coming in the Form of a Baby


2-5 Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.

5-6 You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!—taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble.

7-10 Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message! People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God. They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom.
— 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 (The Message)


Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; Hosea 6:1-6


The passages for today point us toward what’s coming in the form of a baby.  The psalmist declares that God is about to pronounce His people well.  With a wink and a smile, He lifts the cloud of guilt and puts the peoples’ sins out of sight.  The prophet Hosea, who loved a prostitute, is a parable of God’s love for us.  God loves us at our worst and keeps after us until we know real love – a love that lasts and that is more than mere doctrine.  Paul writes to the people assembled in the church of Thessalonica.  He says that based on reports, it is evident that the Word of God has become more than just mere words and has permeated their lifestyle.  Paul tells them that the word has gotten out about their lifestyle and that believers in surrounding provinces are looking up to them.  Although trouble has accompanied this lifestyle, the Holy Spirit has allowed them to take the trouble with the joy and has put a steel in their conviction.  Paul declares that they are the message!  So, what’s coming in the form of a baby?  Sin has been put out of sight and out of mind.  The meaning of real love has been defined.  A way of living has been revealed, one that puts a steel in conviction and that allows for joy in the midst of trouble.  This way of living makes us the message!


Lord, remind me that You have removed the burden of guilt for my sin that sometimes I continue to carry.  Help me love others no matter what.  Show me a peace that takes the trouble with the joy in living.  Put a steel in my conviction.  Form me into the message.  Amen.


Jean Love is the Associate Professor of HPSS and Head Coach of the CN Men's and Women's Tennis. She was born into this church family and was baptized by this church.  Although she has not always lived in Jefferson City, she has remained a part of this church family. During this season of Advent, I am most looking forward to rekindling the expectancy of Jesus’ birth through the music and ministry of this church.