About the author: Don and his wife Wendy and their children Kira and Josh have been at ZPC for several years. Don serves as ZPC's director of worship.
About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals where we are exploring traditional Advent themes of waiting, mystery, redemption, and incarnation. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc advent to 39970. Advent booklets are also available at the ZPC Welcome Center. We welcome your comments and questions each day.
Mystery | Colossians 2:2-3; Luke 1:46-55
The Story of Advent reminds us that God enters our chaos and certain doom to save and redeem us – to restore life together with him through his son Jesus. Why would he do this?
Prophets foretell of his saving love coming with stunning accuracy hundreds of years before the night of Jesus’ birth and yet we look in bewilderment at the mystery surrounding this infant who comes to make all things new and right. How could a baby possibly accomplish
all that has been promised? Even in the miracle of being Jesus’ mother, Mary begs the question, “How can this be?!”
God has said all along that he loves us. He promises himself to us; he claims us to be his people and he provides all that we need. When we turn our backs on him, he waits for us to return, welcoming us with open arms. And because our sin is too much for us to bear he came down to be with us; to personally make right all that we make wrong. He wants us to know him as more than a distant God but instead, in the person Jesus, a personal, loving God. Read Colossians 2:2-3.
Even the way God came to earth helps us understand the mystery of his love. Our God and King, our Savior and Lord came to us in the dead of night, as a baby born in a manger to a young girl, surrounded by animals and peasants. His love is gentle and kind. It is gracious and abundant. It brings peace in a most humble and mysteriously unceremonious way. God’s love for us is mysterious because it’s a love we didn’t earn though he gives it freely. It’s a love that frees us because it conquers our fear. It’s a love that saves us because with it we can live forever with him.
Perhaps it is possible to best understand the mystery of God’s love reflecting on Mary’s response to it. Shortly after her initial astonishment and fear, face to face with the angel messenger, Mary finds peace and encouragement responding to this mysterious love with faithfulness and worship. Read Luke 1:46-55.
The best way to understand the mystery of God’s love is to give your life to it. Let God’s love lead you every day. Be filled with it and prayerfully seek out all that your loving, heavenly Father has for you. Let it encourage you and share it to encourage others.
- A hand written letter encouraging a friend or family member can be very meaningful. Think of someone who needs to be reminded of God’s love and take a few minutes to share his love and encouragement by writing that person a letter.
- As a family, go back and read Luke 1:46-55. Find the words and phrases that inspire you. Copy those words and phrases onto strips of colored paper and create a garland/chain of worship to hang on your Christmas tree or somewhere in the house, to remind you to let God’s love lead you every day.
You have blessed us with your love and with a new life in your son Jesus. You have done such great things for us. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for your son Jesus and his examples of love for your people and his faithfulness to you. Fill us with your love each day that our lives may reflect the joy of your love, as we share it with others.
In Jesus’ name I pray,