We are taking a short break from our Nehemiah series for this Advent season.
There is a word you use regularly at work. You can put it before jobs, time, money, trouble. Forms of it can follow life and face. You press a button on your toolbar regularly to process the activity.
It is also the word which a first century business owner was told was to be the meaning of his unborn son’s name. A word relayed to the bemused father by an angel in a dream along with the information that the boy conceived in his fiancé is from the Spirit of God.
The word is “Save”, the boy’s name is Jesus and it’s the whole point of Christmas. It’s ironic that Christmas has become about spending when it’s actually about saving.
“Save” is a great word. You probably already love it. It’s a huge word in the bible and carries multiple meanings, as it does with you every day at work. (If you’re typing in word you can press save any-time you want).
I want to invite you, during this four-week advent season, to take this word, not as a computer program, but as a living word with you all the time. As you become conscious of the saver you will truly have a happy Christmas.
Your financial advisors may save you from wasting money, your systems may save you from wasting time, your team may save you trouble but there is only one person who can save you from your sins. That’s why the angel said “He will save” because no-one else could.
Let’s explore. Please look back using words that describe the legacy you carry in your soul. Yesterday you made a mistake, yesterday you fell over, yesterday you missed a target, yesterday you lost your temper. Yesterday you made a poor decision, lost some money, lost a contract. Yesterday is guilt.
Maybe yesterday somebody abused you, cheated on you, lied about you, ripped you off, damaged your reputation, ruined your business, hurt your feelings. Yesterday is scars.
Yesterday was fun, satisfaction, achievement and pleasure. Yesterday had more energy, vision and dreams. Yesterday is gone. Yesterday is nostalgia.
Yesterday could have had a better education, more opportunities, unspoken words spoken, withheld gifts given. Yesterday is regret.
Yesterday held people who are now gone, taken through age or illness. Yesterday has disappeared. Yesterday is mourning.
As you look back you will find a path, a set of memories, personal achievements and a legacy. If it was painful for you you may be glad it’s gone, yet you remain wounded. If it was a pleasure you may be sorry it’s gone, yet wistful.
Christmas, I will suggest to you, is the arrival time of one who saves you from your yesterdays. His saving involves dissolving guilt; it is about soothing scars, it is about bringing joy in nostalgia, restoration in regret and comfort in mourning.
How on earth does He do it? The clue is in the season. He is able to move freely into and out of time. He can walk back in time and find the wound, the child, the scar, the wrong turn, the mistake, the foolishness of last night and then he can save you. He can’t help doing it it’s in His name, it’s in His nature and He loves doing it.
Somehow He and He alone saves you from your yesterdays. He is Jesus. (Next week – your forevers)
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
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