This short essay is taken from the book, 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!
Key Verse of Incarnation and Exaltation: Isaiah 9:6a – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…
This is a reading that was featured earlier in the devotional, but it bears repeating as we as we come to the close of this holy season. We have moved through the days of Advent, discovering just who the Messiah is and how the truth of his coming was revealed to us through the ages until the Father spoke his final Word into the world. That Word was Jesus. The Bible says that “to us” a child is born, “to us” a son is given. He is God’s gift – God’s perfect gift – of love – to us! God loved the world so much that he gave us his only begotten Son!
Jesus took the government upon his shoulders. He bore our burdens and carried them to the cross so that he would rule the world and bring peace to the disorder of sorrow and sin. He was known by four marvelous titles. Let us revisit them in a new way, having made our way through this Advent journey:
Wonderful Counselor – He is the One who brings us the Good News, who helps us to recall and understand the message of salvation! All that happened from the dawn of creation to the incarnation and forward to the End of Days is in his hands. As we receive him into our hearts, the wisdom of God is made known to us. We grasp the awesome truth of the incarnation, which settles in our souls and brings us peace!
Mighty God – Though Jesus was a man, he was also God, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son of the Father. John tells us in the first chapter of his Gospel that Jesus was with God in the beginning, and through him all things came to be. Jesus had at his disposal the power of heaven to calm the seas, drive out the hosts of hell, heal the sick, and raise the dead. Though he was a man, his Godhead was not diminished – only put aside so that he might live a life of service for us!
Everlasting Father – We are the children of his promise. We are under his care. In Jesus, we have been given all the universe as an inheritance. We have been adopted as sons and daughters of the King. His reign will be without end and we will live in joy with him forever. What a privilege, what an honor, what a joy!
Prince of Peace – This is perhaps the title that means the most to us. In Jesus, we have forgiveness of sins, salvation from hell, and peace in the Kingdom of God. Our Prince has taken our place at the cross and given us what we could never have earned ourselves. We have now and forevermore, peace, rest, and everlasting joy in the presence of the King of kings!
Prayer: Father, may all that I have meditated upon in this season of Advent remain in my heart as I walk in the kingdom of your Son day by precious day, from now until he comes again…Amen!
Sing with joyful hearts surrendered,
Praise the babe on manger throne,
All creation in submission,
He is God and God alone!