Each week, as we say the Apostles’ Creed together, we affirm, with some certainty, that we believe that Jesus “was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.” We are as certain of that as we are that God creates, that Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, or that there is forgiveness of sins (among other articles of faith).
But what would we say we actually believe about that if someone asked? It remains a mystery, so much so that in some traditions, one crosses one’s self when saying those words in reverence of the mystery.
These first two Sundays of Advent we will sit with these two phrases from the creed. Not so much to try to solve a mystery as to understand a bit of what it tells us about Jesus Christ, about the two natures (divine and human) woven into one person, and about its meaning for us who follow Jesus. We will prepare ourselves to worship the great mystery of the Incarnation on Christmas Eve.
This Sunday, we will read Colossians 1:15-20 and Matthew 1:18-25 as we explore what we mean when we say, “Conceived by the Holy Spirit.” We’ll also begin Advent with a blessing of the wreath and the Chrismon tree, as well as gather around the table for Holy Communion.
I look forward to seeing you as we begin our journey into the mystery.