Coming in April – Lord, Teach Us To Pray, daily reflections on The Lord’s Prayer

Advent Devotional 2021 – November 30th

PRAYER

Take a moment to become still, aware of God’s presence, and then pray:

Loving Father, we thank you for the profound meaning and beauty of these days of Advent. In the midst of what can be a busy and hurried season we ask that you would calm our hearts and minds to be ready to receive. Reveal the glory of your beloved Son who dwelt among us to make us more like Him. Amen

REFLECTION

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 
1 John 1:1-3

John, the Son of Zebedee, was in his late teens or early twenties when Jesus called him from being a fisherman to being a disciple and a ‘fisher of men’. John grew into a very close relationship with Jesus and was known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). It was John who reclined close to Jesus at the Last Supper and who later was entrusted by Jesus to care for His mother. John alone of the Twelve lived to a very old age when he put quill to parchment to write “concerning the word of life”, Jesus.

In today’s scripture John testifies to the Jesus whom they had “heard…seen with our eyes…looked at…and touched with our hands.” John uses such physical language because he wants future generations to know that Jesus was no phantom, ghost, avatar or apparition, but a real flesh and blood human like us. John remembers seeing Jesus thirsty (John 4:7), hungry (Matthew 21:18), tired (John 4:6), needing sleep (Luke 8:23), troubled (John 11:33), angry (Mark 3:5), agitated (Matthew 26:37), and joyful (John 15:11). Along with Peter and James, John had witnessed Jesus struggle with temptation in Gethsemane, even sweating blood. John knew first-hand that the Son of God had taken on our humanity in all things except sin.

And yes, John remembers the joy when the risen Jesus appeared bodily to His disciples, inviting them: “Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39). Then, there was the time by the lake when the risen Jesus asked the disciples for something to eat (Luke 24:42). John wants readers to know that Jesus shares their full humanity.

John knows that many deceivers have gone out into the world (2 John 7); he wants the world to know the Jesus who became flesh and dwelt among us. “Jesus was not God minus some elements of His deity, but God plus all that He had made His own by taking manhood to Himself.” (J. I. Packer, Knowing God)

Through His incarnation God stoops to unite heaven and earth. By His becoming flesh “Christ shares to the full in what we are, and so He makes it possible to share in what He is, in His divine life and glory. He became what we are, so as to make us what He is.” (Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way) “By His descent to earth he prepared our ascent to heaven; by taking himself our mortality He bestowed on us His own immortality.” (John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion)

Picture a bridge spanning a vast chasm: if the bridge is down at either end, the bridge is useless. So it is with the divinity and the humanity of Jesus bridging the immense chasm between God and us. If at one end Jesus is not fully God, or at the other end He is not fully human, the chasm cannot be spanned.

But the Good News is that the chasm has been spanned!

WORSHIP

Think back over the past 24 hours and note when you experienced a “high” and a “low”. Share with God how the humanity of Jesus might speak to you in what you experienced.

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