This short essay is taken from the devotional, The Incarnation and the Exultation: An Advent Devotional. This devotional reflects on the scriptures of incarnation and exaltation in order to take you on a journey of thoughtful self-reflection. It is meant to draw you more deeply into the mystery of Christ’s coming into the world to help you walk your own inner path toward the season of Christmas. As you celebrate the coming of Christ into your lives during Advent and spend time reflecting on the readings in this devotional, may the light and love that entered our world lead you to the cross in wonder and thanksgiving. May you find joy and discover strength as you walk this wondrous journey to Bethlehem, always holding within your heart the image of the Hill of Calvary and the hope of the Age to come when Christ will return to call his people home!
Wednesday, First Week of Advent – Rescued by the Royal Son
Incarnation – And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Luke 1:38)
Exaltation – May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth! May his foes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust! May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! (Psalm 72:8-10)
Advent is a time to remember that we are travelers on a desert road, walking our way in a weary world. It is a time to remember also that the Second Person of the Trinity came to walk that lonely path with us. Just as the Holy Spirit overshadowed the Blessed Virgin, causing her to conceive the Son of God, so too, does that same Spirit enter into our lives so that Christ may be birthed in us.
Jesus comes into our world to bring justice, righteousness, prosperity, and peace, defeat to his enemies and joy to his redeemed. He is our rescuer. This mighty King, the royal son who comes to wipe out his enemies and usher in a period of profound peace, is also the gentle Savior who comes like a soft rain upon a dry and weary land. He defends the poor and the needy, the outcasts and the unloved.
Jesus spreads his love upon the earth and hope blooms. His ears hear the cry of the one who has nowhere else to turn. He receives royal tribute from those who bow down before Him. Compassion and tender concern are the hallmarks of his ministry; hope his promise for all who will believe. Though he is mighty, he comes in gentleness, bringing grace so subtle and so quiet as to go almost unnoticed. And yet, it is a mighty power, capable of changing lives and restoring the earth and its inhabitants.
We see in the poor and helpless baby of Bethlehem, the mighty king who has come to save those held in the grip of oppression and sin. Let us imitate his meekness and go forth in boldness to love a world so in need of the rescue of the Royal Son!
Prayer: My God and King, I marvel at both the might and the meekness of your beloved Son who came among us as a man and suffered that we might be saved. May I seek to show that same powerful and tender concern to another today…Amen!
Holy Spirit Overshadows.
Virgin bears the Royal Son.
Peace and Justice Christ bestowing,
He the holy Righteous One.