“The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:35
The mystery and wonder of what we call the ‘Annunciation’ is central to the Christmas message. Jesus is God in the flesh conceived by the Holy Spirit in a virgin named Mary. Let this wondrous mystery seep into your soul and prepare your heart for the joyous entry of our Savior into the world of men.
Today marks the beginning of week #2 on the Advent Calendar. May God use this time to enrich your joy and gratitude for the gift we received from our Father.
Week #2: Personal Preparation
Light the second Advent candle as someone reads Isaiah 11:1-5 and Romans 3:23.
As we begin this second week of Advent, preparation through wonder is our focus. There is a reason Christ came as God in the Flesh. That reason is our desperate need for a Savior. Since the Fall in the Garden, man’s heart is scarred by sin and a predisposition toward disobedience and rebellion. Let me say it again… we need a Savior!
Yet, does it not seem illogical that a holy God would choose to enter our world through the normal process of human birth in a manger with the express purpose of surrendering to a cruel death on a cross on our behalf? Who would come up with such a crazy plan? Surely the angelic host must have puzzled over this as well.
This is a time to stop and ponder this inexplicable mystery of God who entered our world by humbling Himself to save us because He loves us that much. The thought of it is so wonderous because it is so preposterous to our imaginations.
Three powerful symbols or images of the Christian faith encapsulate the glorious mystery of God’s Incarnation and plan of salvation—the baby in a manger, the cruel cross, and the empty tomb. Yet, as significant as these are for us as believers, the visual image of the Christ child lying in a cow stall feed trough may be the most troublesome image for many people.
After all, how could the Creator stoop to such a low and unimpressive entrance into our world? This isn’t how a king should come, let alone the King of kings! Yet, it is precisely this mysterious intervention of God into our world that compels us to fall on our knees in awe, wonder and amazement as we encounter God’s nature and love for us—sinners in need of a Savior.
This was no human invention, but the intervention of a loving and merciful God. And He did it for us! Where do you stand on the ‘awe and wonder’ scale during this Advent season?
A Powerful Christmas Tradition
Might I suggest a Christmas family tradition that, if you are not already using it, might help elevate the wonder scale? It’s a simple, yet profound way of expressing the wonder of God’s entrance into our world.
- Remove the Christ child from your crèche or nativity scene and wrap it in a nice package with a gift tag marked: To: (Your family), From: God.
- Place it under the tree to be the last gift you open on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
- After opening this gift, replace the Christ child in the crèche as someone reads Luke 2:1-20. Follow up by asking for responses about the significance of the way Christ came.
In the meantime, prepare your heart for the wonder and awe of Christ’s coming. This was the moment in which the angelic host sang in what must have been a glorious sound: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” Maybe we ought to do the same?