Advent | Day 9
Monday, December 5
- Psalms 9, 15, 25
- Amos 7.1-9
- Revelation 1.1-8
- Matthew 22.23-331
The Christmas season, among many things, is a season for giving thanks. It is a time to give thanks because the God of the universe, the Alpha and the Omega, the Word who became flesh, condescended to become like us in our human condition. On that first Christmas, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons and daughters (Galatians 4.4-5).
Outside of our relationship with Christ, most of us cannot relate to what it means to be adopted. Like my new granddaughter, Violet, most of us have the experience of being raised by our biological parents. Our natural parents have many reasons to love us, and loving parents are a blessing from the Lord. How much more amazing is it, however, to be loved by adoptive parents!
A parent or a grandparent caring for a child or grandchild carries with it some sense of obligation, but an adoptive parent does not have this natural obligation and instead gives of himself or herself freely in a way that mirrors the mercy and love that Jesus Christ gives His adopted children. We are not God’s children by birth, but Christ gave freely of Himself, through His life and through His death, that we might be His children in adoption. Like an orphan in need we can cry out, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted” (Psalm 25.16), and the Lord will lovingly respond.
The Psalmist said about the Lord God, “I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9.1-2).
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the Gospel gives us much to be thankful for. This is a good time to prayerfully consider Jesus Christ’s humble birth, His perfect life, His painful death, and His glorious resurrection. If not for these things, we could never receive the redemption He gives us as adopted sons and daughters.
I will recount the Lord’s wonderful deeds and sing praises to His glorious name!
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
You can access an online version of the 2011 Advent Guide (presented annually be Belmont’s School of Religion) at: http://issuu.com/office.communications/docs/2011_advent_guide#download