Join us this season as we RETHINK CHRISTMAS by refocusing our attention on Jesus, who, as the MAKER of creation, was born in a MANGER, taking on all our limitations; who went to the cross, defeated every foe as the rightful MESSIAH, and ascended to be seated on the throne in MAJESTY. Make our daily devotionals a part of your regular rhythm of spiritual growth.
The Sight of Advent
“. . . and dwelt among us, . . .”John 1:14
Christmas changes things, more than we realize. The advent of Jesus was the turning point for both people and planet. Consider the vast horizon Jesus’ incarnation encompasses – God and humanity, law and the promise of redemption, sin and salvation, mystery and revelation.
The advent of the Son of God born of a virgin completes the fullness of time. Everything in creation and everyone looked forward to the advent of Jesus. It was the goal of all the events of scripture, it’s the unfolding of God’s redemptive reach to us. The mystery kept secret through times eternal is now made known to all nations.
From the moment of Adam’s fall to Israel’s helplessness and hopelessness, to the wise men, the shepherds, Simeon and Anna, Elizabeth and Zachariah, through Joseph and Mary, all had looked forward to the authentic heir who would be the fulfillment of God’s promise. All those watching for the Savior had glimpses of the God who would be with us. They saw enough to know God was near. Then, at last, there came the sight of His advent.
Throughout history people had had great thoughts about God, they had learned many enduring truths about His holiness, they had known Him as a Creator and law giver. They had called Him almighty Lord. However, there was one thing they never knew until Jesus arrived, one thing no other could have ever revealed, one thing only Jesus could make real to the rest of us – the fatherhood of God.
The advent of Jesus changed our affiliation. The idea of personal sonship toward God was inconceivable until Christ brought it with Him into the world. Up until the arrival of Jesus, the most a person could ever aspire to was to be a servant of God. Israel knew God at a distance, serving Him out of obligation. But Jesus changed all of that, He taught us to lift our eyes toward heaven and say “Abba, Father.”
Knowing God as our Father is not the result of our own “deep” contemplation. It’s not the result of releasing natural pent up emotions of trying to know God. Rather, like God’s sending of Jesus, He sends His Fatherhood into our hearts. Our Sonship in the Lord is derived from that of Jesus, the Spirit of God’s Son has now become ours.
Is there anything in you which cries “Abba, Father”?