The Arrival

Good Friday to You,

And she gave birth to her firstborn son…

I remember the evening this simple phrase could be said of Carol Ann. It had been a long day, a really long day. We arrived at Union Hospital in Terre Haute at 6 a.m. knowing that if all went well, our first child would be born that day!

Carol Ann was not scheduled for a C-Section, as is often the case of a scheduled birthday. Instead, she was already at full-term, the baby was full-size, and our doctor was leaving for vacation the next week. In other words, it was baby time!

We arrived that morning, and after Carol Ann was checked in, changed, and settled, they began to administer a drug to begin her contractions. If you are now thinking, “Hey Honey, we should pick our baby’s birth date by using those drugs,” I recommend against it. Naturally going into labor is generally a much better starting point.

It took her body a few hours to start cooperating. Then, those contractions became quite painful. My Superhero wife had committed to not get an epidural during the birthing process. As a pastor’s wife who had no maternity coverage, she knew full-well that we didn’t have the additional $1,000+ to pay for it.

And, she didn’t like the sound of possible side effects accompanying the needle-placed medication near the spinal cord. So, she toughed it out. And the contractions dragged on and on.

After an exhausting day of contractions and delivery, she gave birth to her firstborn son. At 8 pounds, 6 ounces, he was definitely fully baked. His arrival changed our lives forever. Never again was it just the two of us. We were no longer a couple but now a full-blown family. With our new addition, Carol Ann made the big shift to the role of stay-at-home mom.


A Blessing From God

Today, as I share this story, some of you still long to hear those words said about you or your wife or your daughter or your friend. To hear those words is truly a gift and a blessing from God. But those words do not define you. They do not establish your value or your future.

There is one birth announcement that did!

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger.

Yes, it’s easy to see how a firstborn will change the life of one family. But because many of us have been told the account of Jesus’ birth for years, it is easy to miss the impact on all families. Jesus being born of a virgin and laid in a manger (God becoming Man) is God selflessly at work saving His people! God inviting us to become part of His family.

This weekend, we answer some important questions. Why is the Virgin Birth essential to God’s plan to save us. How does Jesus’ birth differentiate the Christian Faith from every other religion in the world? How does Jesus becoming human give direction for how we truly live as humans?

It’s all in there!

You can take a first look:  Luke 1:26-33 & Luke 2:1-7 provide the birth announcement and birthday account.  Philippians 2:1-11 gives the application for our lives in His family.


Hope you join us this weekend,

Pastor Michael