As a part of our Advent observances at Grace, we are making use of Concordia Publishing’s Behold the Child materials for worship. Our web devotions through Christmas will be guided by Pastor Kevin Golden’s devotional booklet written in support of the Behold the Child theme (you may purchase a downloadable copy of Pr. Golden’s book by following this link).
For the peaceful reign of Christ
For sun and moon and the wonders of Creation
Text: Psalm 72:7
Peace is present because Christ is present. –Pr. Golden
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE have lost is the sense that our sufferings “make sense.” As a culture, we expect to minimize, if not eliminate, pain. We may engage in personal struggle—marking the class reunion on the calendar as we begin a diet—but we would be glad for a pain-free way to achieve our goals. Pain, struggle, suffering—these have no meaning in or of themselves and are best avoided.
Such an attitude means that entire parts of human existence are cordoned off and ignored. Many have observed that, other than death itself, suffering is the most common human experience, and our efforts to avoid suffering or make others totally responsible for our suffering can become a dangerous path toward an inhuman existence.
The Christian message about God is that the very essence of divinity—the thing that makes God God—is found in the suffering of the man Jesus hanging on the cross. The Son of God is in pain; both the physical pain that comes from being tortured and dying, and the pain of being abandoned, of being alone. Within the Godhead, that community of beings united in love, knowledge and purpose and therefore finally one, there is sorrow. For the Christian, the possibility of peace in every present moment comes from the deep experience that God is not one who avoids suffering or simply blames, but comes alongside to help bear, to give strength, to restore hope and to offer meaning.
May you live in Advent hope ~ Pr. Dave Brooks
--Quoted materials are from Behold the Child Daily Devotions #12-4563
© 2019 Concordia Publishing House. Used with permission under license 20:12-1. www.cph.org