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Advent 2016 Devotional—December 20th

Advent 2016 Devotional—December 20th

“Good News For All The People”—Daily Reflections for Advent 2016

THE TWENTY-FOURTH DAY OF ADVENT, December 20th 

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.
1 John 3:1-2

In C. S. Lewis’ fantasy novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the White Witch has cast a spell over Narnia, decreeing that it “always be winter but never Christmas.” But Aslan, the true king and royal lion, is “on the move” as he has come to save Narnia from the White Witch and the curse of endless winter. Lewis tells a gripping fairy tale with the simple but powerful metaphor: the winter cold representing the deathblow of evil in the world, and the coming of Aslan to set the whole world right.

With these images Lewis tells God’s good news about the Jesus who comes to us at Christmas. It all began in eternity past as God purposed to bless us beyond all our abilities to imagine. The Son of God comes down to us to draw us up into the very life and communion of the Three-Personed God. Theologian C. Baxter Kruger writes of the infinitely incomprehensible overflow of God’s love and grace:

The Father, Son and Spirit have chosen in sheer grace and in astonishing philanthropy, not to hoard their glory and fullness and joy and fellowship. They have chosen not to live out their dance of life and glory without us, without you and me. (The Great Dance: The Christian Vision Revisited)

Even before creation and the fall, God purposed to make us like Him so that we might forever share in His love. That means God’s plans for us are as wonderful and big as God Himself. He has a future for us filled with a glory beyond our wildest dreams. And yet there is something about that future we can know now: “What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” When the time comes for the manifestation and recognition of Jesus, there will be the full revelation of what it means for us to be God’s children. The fullness of what it means to be God’s children can only be known when Jesus Himself is revealed to the world in all of His glory.

C. S. Lewis helps stretch our imaginations around that revelation of God’s children at the end of his Narnia tales. In Lewis’ The Last Battle we listen in as Aslan the true king speaks:

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.

Our few days here are but the prologue to that Great Story, the preparation for unending joy and boundless satisfaction. Until that day Jesus is revealed and we are revealed with Him, we live with questions and things hard to understand. But then we will see that all our hard times here are not worth comparing with the glory that awaits us (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18), because in Christ Jesus, God has made Himself like us, that we might forever be like Him! What incredible good news for all the people!

PONDERINGS

  • Take some moments to “imagine” what it will be like to see Jesus and to made like Him. What do you “see” in your imaginings?
  • What do you want to say to God about His eternal purpose to include you forever in His life and love?

THE DAILY GOD HUNT: Reflect on where you found God today.

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