“Live and in person” Advent devotion for December 14, 2020. Read 1 Timothy 3:16 and Psalm 1.
“Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory” (1 Tim. 3:16).
Paul writes these words in a letter to Timothy, reminding him that life in the household of God is different. Such a life is a result of and flows from the life of Christ, who was divine, has ascended, is the object of our faith and was revealed to us “live and in person.”
From time to time, someone will ask me, “How did you learn to do that?” More than a few times I’ve answered, “My dad taught me how.” Dad taught me how to throw and catch a baseball, how to tune up a car (when a tune up meant plugs and points), how to drive a stick-shift, how to grow vegetables, how to finish sheetrock, how to do some basic home electrical work, how to glaze a window, how to sharpen a pocket knife, how to solder wires, how to sing harmony, how to fill out a scorecard at a baseball game, how to sharpen a lawn mower blade with a grinding wheel, how to whistle, and how to eat corn on the cob.
Now when I want to learn how to do something, I watch a YouTube video. I’ve always been able to find step-by-step instructions for any repair or project. Just as effective as dad? Probably. But it’s different. You can’t ask questions and you can’t ask for help.
In the life of Jesus, God “manifested in the flesh,” we find out just how serious God is about our lives. Jesus is someone who knew how to do everything required by the covenant. Folks learned a lot about compassion, mercy, sacrifice, forgiveness and love as they interacted with Him.
I learned a lot about pastoral care on my vicarage (3rd year internship of a four-year seminary program). I had a book about it. But I learned a lot by watching a pastor, my supervisor, actually do what a pastor does live and in person.
Such is the blessing of a Savior “manifested in the flesh.”
Thank You, Father, for the life, the example and the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus, who came in person to be my Savior. Amen.