River City Church - Smyrna, GA

The Birth of Ambiguous Hope

December 22, 2019

Jordan walks us through the story of the angel of the Lord visiting Joseph in a dream. We often consider the story of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus as a snapshot of the manger scene, but there are so many contexts at play in their story. Joseph and Mary were in the midst of turmoil via Roman oppression and a religious structure that wasn't welcoming to their situation. When the angel speaks to Joseph, he doesn't offer rescue from their plight. Instead, the hope they are given is in the person of this baby who will save the people from their sins. The ambiguity or uncertainty of what that will look like can be challenging to grasp. And the hope we have is in the presence of Jesus -- Emmanuel -- sitting with us in our pain, addiction, abuse, financial difficulties, infertility, etc. The worship journey this week: "The birth of ambiguous hope for a better tomorrow." Matthew 1:18-25. 

Jordan shared a quote from Don E. Saliers: "The hope for the coming of a child of destiny is certainly still alive in secular society. In complicated times -- politically, socially, economically -- the yearning for some sign of promise and hope in the form of a new leader is still very much with us .... Such a sign [of a coming child] focuses the contrast between the forces ranged against the good, and the hope for a salvation from all that is violent and destructive. Awareness of the gap between the world's actuality and God's ought-to-be of the world kindles the prophetic spirit in every age."