By Michelle Armbruster

Focus on Christ. This is what Advent is all about. Our message today centered on God’s desire to identify with us in the closest possible way which is through his Son. Through scriptures and hymns we reviewed this amazing aspect of God’s love for us.

We’re familiar with the images of the root, rod, and branch. Our readings centered on the branch and reminded us of how God wanted to show that Jesus was of the same stock as those He came to save.

Zechariah 3:8 – “I am going to bring my servant, the branch.”
Isaiah 11:1 – “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse’ from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 23:5 – “…I will raise up to David a righteous Branch …”

Many times God tells us that Jesus is connected to a line of historical kingly people. Through Jesus’ life, God knows what it’s like to be human in every way. He knows how it feels to be happy, sad, stressed, overwhelmed by commitments, abandoned by someone you love, and heartbroken by the death of a friend.

In the last two verses of the hymn Lo, How a Rose e’re Blooming we sing about the idea that God was human and felt the pains that we as humans feel and suffer.

This Flow’r, whose fragrance tender, With sweetness fills the air; Dispels with glorious splendor The darkness ev’ry where. True Man, yet very God, From sin and death He saves us And lightens ev’ry load.

O Savior, child of Mary, Who felt our human woe; O Savior, King of glory, Who dost our weakness know. Bring us at length, we pray, To the bright courts of heaven And to the endless day.

Son of Man was Jesus’ favorite title for himself. It is because he was both human and God that he was able to die in our place. It is only through his death that we can be without blemish. Jesus’ coming proves that God’s love is real and that he wants to share his life with us.

Jesus’ coming proves that God’s love is real and that he wants to share his life with us.

Oh, come, Thou Branch of Jesse’s tree
Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust Thy mighty pow’r to save
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!

This Advent season, focus on Christ. Remember His humanity, His sacrifice, and His victory. And remember that God sent Jesus in order to be able to identify with us in the closest possible way. Keep calm, God loves you this much!!