23rd February 2020

Stranger Than Fiction

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.”
Isaiah 7:14 (NRSV)

Ever notice how a group of people can listen to the same speaker and yet hear different things? The same is true of people who read the same Biblical passage and come to different conclusions. There were several prophecies and verses which people connected with the coming Messiah, like the one quoted above. But for some reason, at the time most did not connect that prophecy with the coming of the Messiah. We hear this verse at Advent and Christmas, yet most who considered themselves versed in the prophecies at the time of Christ never connected this verse with Jesus.

Some people have even argued that Jesus or his followers tried intentionally to fulfil prophecy to make him look like the messiah. As if to fit the man to the story. But this bizarre detail of a virgin birth fits into how Jesus did things differently. All through the gospels, the story is the same. Jesus fills some expectations and not others. His singular life broke through the ideal everyone thought he would be. Instead of bringing about the great resurrection of the righteous, he alone rises. Instead of liberating Israel from her oppressors, he spoke of a kingdom not of this world. Instead of being a military leader, he died at the hands of soldiers like a criminal. Instead of mysteriously appearing on the earth, he’s quite literally born on the bad side of town to a teenage unwed virgin.

Jesus defied expectation. The Truth himself was stranger than fiction. And he still seems to work that way. We see movements of God in our lives and our churches that defy expectation, that turn our predictions on their heads. We see him taking our small-minded visions and expanding them to change the world.

The Truth himself is stranger than fiction. The Truth is Jesus. He continues to appear among us miraculously; he continues to put twists of grace in the plot. He is Emmanuel—God with us. God became one of us. May you hear this truth and let it change you in ways you can’t even imagine.

Gracious Father, may we embrace the wonders of your involvement with human beings, with us. And then to embrace the change you want to see in us. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Presented by Greg Williams

About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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