We invite you to read this year’s NSCBC Advent Devotional! Take a look at this message from our Director of Worship Ministries, Melissa Bull.
Emmanuel, God with us. What a glorious mystery—that Jesus left the throne of God to take on human flesh. And he did so knowing the end of the story. He came to the cradle with the cross in sight. This is the incarnation: that Jesus, fully God, became Jesus, fully man, to be broken for us and win us salvation.
But this was not the first time God walked among his people. The Bible tells a grand story of “God with us” from Genesis through Revelation. This year’s devotional focuses on the incarnation of Christ. As you read the devotions, I pray that your eyes be opened to the presence of God not only with his people through the ages, but also with his people today. With you. Right now. This reality can change our perspective on every circumstance. Emmanuel, God with you.
It can also change our perspective on every relationship. As we consider the amazing love of Christ, and how the gospel is working in our lives, it should affect how we relate to the world around us. But sometimes “gospel living” doesn’t come naturally to us. Often we settle into our work, school, and family life patterns. Sometimes we don’t have any friends who are not believers. It is easy to get comfortable – after all, we are taking care of important things in our lives. But let us not lose sight of those around us who desperately need Jesus, God with them.
To help with this, you will find an action step at the end of each reading: Today’s Incarnation Practice (TIP). These steps can help us see the people around us the way Jesus sees us. Maybe you won’t be able to do each one every day. Maybe there will be ones that appeal to you more than others. Maybe one will stick with you and you’ll find yourself repeating it. Maybe the whole set of ideas will help you create new patterns of living out the incarnation.
As we go into the world and interact with our neighbors this season, may we demonstrate the love and incarnational presence of Jesus. Jesus, God with us. Emmanuel.