“Live and in person” Advent devotion for December 6, 2020. Read Judges 13:2-7 and Psalm 37.
I like to imagine Manoah and his wife sitting down for supper one night and he asks her, “Would you like some wine?” “No, thank you.” she replies. He just looks at her while she continues, “You know, the funniest thing happened to me today. A man of God appeared to me and told me not to drink wine or eat any unclean food, because we’re going to have a baby! And it’s a boy!” Were they shocked? Overjoyed? Amazed?
I love Manoah’s reaction. Basically, he says, “I want to talk to this guy.” When the angel of the Lord — the man of God — returns, Manoah meets him out in the field and asks, “So, what’s up with the birth announcement?” After the angel of the Lord repeats the good news, a meal is prepared, flames shoot up to heaven, and Manoah and his wife know they have seen and heard from the Lord Himself! It is a pre-Bethlehemic gender-reveal gala from long, long ago.
The birth of a child is a life-changing event for any couple. All of a sudden this person shows up in your home and expects you to put them up, prepare meals for them and cater to their every need. Of course, we do all that with joy, for we discover a love like we’ve never known before — love for our son or daughter. And if we get a bonus of more than one child, we experience the miracle of love that multiplies for each and every one of our sons and daughters.
That’s the kind of love God has for you. You are His child, adopted by grace and the redemption we have in Jesus Christ. He is overjoyed to call you His son or daughter and to provide a home, meals, and all of your needs.
I think it’s cool to think of your baptism as a birth announcement, the surprising and amazing news that someone important, influential and loved has joined God’s family. Born of water and the Spirit, you’ve got the promise of victory over sin, the world, and the power of the devil himself.
Every once in a while, you might want to talk to the guy who told you all this. Feel free. He would love to hear from you!
Lord, thanks for the glorious birth announcements in Scripture, including my own! Amen.