Thursday, December 19, 2013

Joyfully Serious

DEC. 20 ADVENT DEVOTION
 
h. 5:14b  "You are standing on holy ground."(Josh. 5:15b)

How can this be?

Mary's question is answered in at least five ways: 1. God's love is the motivation.  2. His power is the agent.  3.  His activity is the reason.  His life is the gift.  4. His person is the result.  

In another pre-incarnational visit by God, Joshua, about to lead an attack on Jericho, encounters a man with a drawn sword blocking his way.  Joshua wants to know if the man is on his side.  The man states that Joshua has asked the wrong question.   He said that He was on neither side, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come."   Then Joshua fell at the man's feet and asked, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"   He answered, "Take off your shoes, for you are standing on holy ground!"

The LORD had made a personal visit to remind Joshua and us that being on God's side is more important than His being on our side.  Joshua led Israel to a great victory because he was surrendered to the LORD.  We have a personal God who often delivers messages through angels(messengers), prophets, priests, and even donkeys but at times prefers to do it Himself.  It is part of God's character as Person to want to interact with His people on a face to face basis.


Ultimately He came as a new-born baby who grew up to be a great man and die on a cross for our sins.  Mary understood the holy significance of this event.   The song that she sang indicates that she had removed her shoes because she was standing on holy ground.(Lk. 1:46-55)  "My soul magnifies the LORD and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior", started the song.  


I love and enjoy all the trappings of Christmas.  I enjoy Santa, Rudolf, Frosty, and the others.  But Christmas is Jesus!   When I think of the great event of the incarnation, I realize that I am standing on holy ground.  Christmas is joyful, but Christmas is serious.  God comes to us, not to take our side but to be by our side.  We become victorious because we have surrendered into a loving relationship with the Person of God who is victorious.  This is the message He has for us during Advent.  We are standing on holy ground.  Do not allow Christmas to become too secular or too casual.  This whole magnificent celebration is joyfully serious.  It is holy!

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