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Our Advent 2018 devotional We Have Seen His Glory! is now available. Order your free copies or buy for Kindle.
Advent 2018 Devotional—December 7

Advent 2018 Devotional—December 7

PRAY

“Speak Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10).

READ

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him, and without him not
one thing came into being. What has come into being in him
was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines
in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

John 1:1-5

Some say the universe began with the Big Bang. John’s Gospel declares it began with a big explosion, an explosion of Infinite Love! It was an uncontainable explosion of God’s irrepressible, exuberant love that got creation going. God could not contain His love; He could not keep it in. His love had to be shared. Because “God is love” (1 John 4:8) in His very essence, He had to give Himself to others. It is, for God, more blessed to give than to receive. The eternal love between God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit spilled over into creation. God could not contain His uncontainable love. God cannot deny Himself!

Fourth century theologian Gregory of Nazianzus explained that the love of God could not be held within the Trinity; it was love that had to be given away. Gregory said God thus created angels and heavenly powers on whom to bestow His expansive, creative love. Next, God multiplied that love by making creatures even in His own image, according to His own likeness, capable of returning love for love. (Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 45) In love God conceived and created Adam’s race, longing for them to love Him and others. You and I come from that wondrous explosion of God’s limitless love and unrestrained self-giving.

One of Christianity’s first theologians, Irenaeus of Lyons (A.D. 130-200), described this outpouring of God’s love on us: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, of His boundless love, became what we are that He might make us what He Himself is.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies)

Bob Farrell and Greg Nelson are contemporary musicians and composers who beautifully retell God’s love story. In their oratorio, Savior, they imagine God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit longing to share His joy and love:

“Who will hear the music that I hear
Who will hear the sound that fills the air
Who will see a radiant beam of light
Dancing for a sun that warms a morning sky
Who will know the beauty of My earth
Sense the joy and wonder of its birth
Who will see the glory of the world that I have made
And who will walk beside Me in the garden
In the coolness of the day”…?”

The love song continues with God’s longing for us to hear His words: “My heart belongs to you.”

Ah yes! That is how the universe began! It began with the big explosion, the big explosion of God’s love into His creation. God created us because He longs for us to hear Him saying, “My heart belongs to you.” God can’t help Himself: He loves us! And He longs for us to give our hearts to Him!

PONDER

  • What are the practical implications in believing the creation began with love?
  • Can I hear God saying to me, “My heart belongs to you”?

PALMS DOWN/PALMS UP

For a moment hold your PALMS DOWN in a symbolic gesture of letting go to God your worries for the day, the busyness of the season, and expectations of the way the holidays ought to be. Release all of these concerns to God.

Next, hold your PALMS UP as a symbolic gesture of receiving God’s gifts, provision, and guidance for today.

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