About the author: Brian is a child of God and he and his wife Cynthia have been members at ZPC for 1 year, returning after an 8 year hiatus. Brian is a business owner in the Village in Zionsville and enjoys golf, racquetball, and going on traveling adventures with Cynthia.
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.
Redemption | Matthew 19:16-22
Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
“Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.”
“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
I love Christmas!
I have worked retail jewelry for more than 30 years so Christmas is like my Super Bowl. When the Christmas season gets here, I have to get into a certain mindset. It's a kind of girding up; a preparation that the season is going to be long and tiring. But at the end of it I will have made a lot of people very happy with that special something. I will have done my job or, now that I own my own business, achieved my passion and I love it!
I love our themes here at ZPC in Advent of waiting and mystery and, finally, redemption.
I love the waiting as if it’s the anticipation of a child on, well....Christmas Eve. It’s a breathless expectation because even though we don’t know what’s going to be under that tree, we know it’s going to be something special.
I love the mystery of billions of galaxies or the Pillars of Hercules thrown into the heavens by a Creator. I am filled with wonder and humility every time I look up at a clear night sky or consider the mystery of a babe to save the world.
Ahh, the babe. Redemption. Our waiting and mystery and redemption in a nice 8 pound 4 ounce package.
Our friend in the Bible verse above wanted to skip the waiting and solve the mystery, all the while totally missing that it was Redemption he was searching for. It was too easy, yet eternally hard. “What must I do?” He asks, “to get eternal life?” He could check all the boxes of law abiding. It was too hard to get his heart there, though.
But the heart is what God wants. In fact, he might even want that more than the law abiding. He wants it so much that he sent the Redemption in a 8 pound 4 ounce package. It’s brilliant, really, totally unexpected. It came from a place that fooled everyone. Our warrior was in diapers. Our redeemer was being cooed to sleep by cows.
And I love it. I’m overwhelmed by it. I’m redeemed by it.
I love Christmas.
This might be the hardest project we have had. Turn off your phone and all other electronic input for FIVE MINUTES and close your eyes. Then very intentionally contemplate the waiting and the mystery and the redemption. Allow it to wash over you, allow it to overwhelm you, allow it to drive you to your knees. Let yourself love Christmas.
Thank you, Father, for who you are and what you have done. Thank you for giving us the law to follow and the Redeemer when we don’t. Thank you for mystery. Be with us throughout this day and in all we think, say, or do and above all, let us glorify you.
Thank you for Christmas.
I love you.