The coming of God's Son to earth is an event of such immensity that God willed to prepare for it over the centuries.  He makes everything converge on Christ: all the rituals and sacrifices, figures and symbols of the "First Covenant."  He announces him through the mouths of the prophets who succeeded one another in Israel.  Moreover, he awakens in the hearts of the pagans a dim expectation of this coming.  Catechism of the Catholic Church # 522

Think back in time about 2,000 years, and picture a bewildered and confused man named Joseph of Nazareth whose entire world had been turned upside down overnight.  Earlier, this righteous man had been shocked to discover that his betrothed maiden was with child, and he had determined to divorce her quietly so as not to cause a scandal.  Now this simple man, living out his ordinary life, had been confronted in a dream by a messenger from God.  An angel had revealed to him that the child in Mary's womb was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  This child was to be the long awaited Redeemer-Messiah, the promised Davidic King sent to save His people from their sins.

Joseph could not have understood that the hands that stretched the universe and formed the stars and planets had, by the power of the Holy Spirit, formed themselves into the tiny fists of a little child inside the womb of a humble Jewish virgin.  Joseph could not have comprehended that one day those same fists would uncurl in agony as His hands and feet were pounded with nails of hate that created wounds of eternal love.  He could not have understood that this child would die in order to bring the gift of eternal life. No longer would man be condemned to die a little each day,living a shadow existence as a child of Adam.  Through the self-sacrifice of Mary's precious child, man, through the miracle of water and the Spirit, could be reborn as a child into the family of God, a child called to fulfill the destiny for which mankind had been created to live in eternal union with the Most Holy Trinity.

As you go about your hectic schedule this Advent Season, and as you begin to worry about one earthly concern after another, please stop a minute and think about the birth of that little child.  In a hundred years will it really matter what cares and concerns the world brings you today?  However, in a hundred years it will make an eternity of a difference if you have accepted that first Christmas gift, the gift of eternal life.

This study is Agape Bible Study's gift to you that you might more deeply appreciate the gift God gave to us all.

Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2002 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.