We had a visiting minister preach today (it was the Queen's father), and ever since this morning's sermon, I have been thinking about the humility of the Lord coming as a baby, submitting to being cared for by faulty human parents, placing himself, helpless, in the hands of sinners. Each Christmas song that I hear draws my mind back to that thought. He didn't have to do that, and he didn't have to do it in that way, but he did.
We normally don't do Advent, as our religious tradition does not follow the liturgical year, and in fact our ancestors had to fight hard for the right to worship in our simple way. But there is something to be said for a plan to follow, seasonal readings, reminders coming year after year of the amazing grace of God. I have been very interested in Mama Squirrel's plans for Advent, and I think we will follow the four weeks that she has listed of Simplicity, Solitude and Silence, Service and Submission this month.
(Update: Mama Squirrel got these four topics from Foster's Celebration of Discipline. Thanks for suggesting the need to clarify, Mama Squirrel. I meant to add a reference to the book, but got too caught up in my own thoughts. ;o)
Of course, I'm getting a little ahead of myself posting on Submission. But the preacher preached on condescension this morning, and, as he pointed out, the greatest instance of stooping to those of low estate is the beautiful example of our Lord. And especially our Lord as a child, subject to His earthly parents. Isn't that the wonder of this season?
Here are my notes on this morning:
Scriptures to read-- John chapters 9, 13; Luke 2; Matthew 25; Philippians 2:9.
1. Meet people where they are.
2. Be willing to hear truth, even if it comes from an unexpected or unlikely source. (This means we need to know when something has the ring of truth.)
3. Obey those in authority and fulfill the role assigned to you, even if you have more wisdom and knowledge than they. (In my own experience, often when I think I know more than someone in authority over me, the truth turns out to be that there is some information I have not considered. Not always, but often.)
4. When you have the opportunity to serve others doing menial, and even distasteful, tasks, do them as your service to the Lord because as often as you have served one of the Lord's people, you have served Him.
Other posts that join these thoughts in my mind:
Our Lack of Wonder
Black Friday and Love
The Promise of Glory:
"The sense that in this universe we are treated as strangers, the longing to be acknowledged, to meet with some response, to bridge some chasm that yawns between us and reality, is part of our inconsolable secret. And surely, from this point of view, the promise of glory, in the sense described, becomes highly relevant to our deep desire. For glory means good report with God, acceptance by God, response, acknowledgement, and welcome into the heart of things. The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last."