“Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God” (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).’ When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘See, I have come to do your will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:5-10) On this final Sunday in Advent, we are offered a glorious vision of the full implications of the Incarnation. We sometimes mistakenly separate the Incarnation from the Atonement, as if the act of Incarnation is not sacrificial on God’s part. The Son’s obedience to the Father to become human in order that we might be saved is a crucial part, the initiation of the atoning work. The Father’s willingness to send the Son and the Son’s willingness to come show just how great God’s love is for us. His entrance into the world and his taking on of our flesh, which we celebrate at Christmas, is the great sacrifice. I have always loved the way in which Charles Wesley put it: “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail th’ incarnate Deity, pleased with us to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel. “Hark the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new-born King!” Our glorious Triune God comes to us with pleasure. In spite of the sacrifice there is a profound joy on God’s part as he enters into our midst. He does not come to you and me begrudgingly but rushes to us truly overjoyed at the reunion only made possible by him. My prayer for you and me is that this Christmas in a new way, we will catch a glimpse of God’s joy in coming to us. Have a great week and merry Christmas!