Advent Reflection: Dec. 17, 2017

Seasonal Devotions

Scripture: John 5:30–47  (Today’s Readings)

“I can do nothing on My own. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I seek to do not My own will but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 5:30)

As I read and reread the opening line above, I am reminded of the Heidelberg Catechism’s first question: “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” The catechism answers for us: “That I am not my own, but belong — body and soul, in life and in death — to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” I am not my own, and as John includes in his gospel, “I can do nothing on my own.”

Yet, the words above are Christ’s words. What must it mean when Christ says, “I can do nothing on My own”? Take a moment and ponder that question.

In addition to revealing God to humanity, Christ entered this world to reveal humanity to humanity. Christ exists in the community of the Trinity, and, in fully human flesh, Christ entered the community of this world. Christ models and calls us to live in community as well, for, “I can do nothing on My own.” Christ chooses to need community, and that, too, is the choice for His followers.

Prayer: Holy Lord, as we prepare ourselves in anticipation of Your coming, may we learn to lean more heavily on one another, and may we learn to carry one another’s burdens. May we invite others into our celebrations, and may we learn to rejoice more closely with those who are rejoicing. May we live as the holy community You have established, through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Contributed by the Reverend Todd E. Leach

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Artwork: Detail of No Between © Jan L. Richardson. Inspired by Isaiah 64:1: “O that You would tear open the heavens and come down … .”