Now, 0 Lord of heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt. I accept hard work and small rewards in this life. I ask for no easy place. I shall try to be blind to the little ways that could make life easier. If others seek the smoother path I will try to take the hard way without judging them too harshly. I shall expect opposition and try to take it quietly when it comes. Or if, as sometimes it falleth out to Thy servants, I should have grateful gifts pressed upon me by Thy kindly people, stand by me then and save me from the blight that often follows. Teach me to use whatever l receive in such manner that will not injure my soul nor diminish my spiritual power. Let me never forget that I am a man with all the natural faults and passions that plague the race of men. And if in Thy permissive providence honor should come to me from Thy Church, let me not forget that I am unworthy of the least of Thy mercies.
My Christmas devotional of choice for years now has been The Christ of Christmas by my former professor Calvin Miller. Here’s a few of my favorite quotes about advent that stick with me year end & year out.
“You shall not bear such pain alone”
We cannot live without bumps & pains, heartache & desolation, mosquito bites & cancer. The incarnation was God saying, “You shall not bear such pain alone”
“the noblest idea of any world religion”
The Incarnation is the noblest idea of any world religion. God did not watch human despair from the safety of heaven. He clothed Himself in humanity. He ceased watching the human war and became a soldier.
“wrestle with Him or rest in Him”
We basically have two choices to make in dealing with the mysteries of God. We can wrestle with Him or we can rest in Him. We can continue searching the unsearchable or relax in the reality. What exists at the end of all our searching will be a God who knows absolutely everything … and chooses to love us anyway.
Here’s some verses we’ll be sharing around our table on Christmas Eve:
- 1 Timothy 1:15 – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”
- 1 John 3:5 – “Jesus came to take away our sins…”
- Luke 7:34 – “The Son of Man came eating and drinking… a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”
- Luke 19:10 – “the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
- Matthew 20:28 – “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This Christmas, celebrate the fact that God was willing to enter the world to take on the messiness of our sin that we might know Him & experience His presence.