Ten Days

images “Mother and Baby at Baptism” and “Lamb” by Barbara Barnes
reflection by Kent T. Hinkson
 
Psalms 30, 32, 42, and 43
Isaiah 8: 1-15
2 Thessalonians 3: 6-18
Luke 22: 31-38
 

mother at baptism bbarnes

Mystery. He doesn’t know it, but he will be born in ten days. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t know anything. He has some indistinct feelings of satisfaction, comfort, warmth; but he has no words, no language. He used to be able to connect his thumb to his mouth, finding some comfort in that and learning the basics of sucking, but now that he is upside down and growing tighter in his warm, wet, dark cocoon even that is becoming more difficult. He can hear the steady rhythm of his mother’s heartbeat and the noises of her bowels but has no frame of reference for them. Nor does he think about it. They are simply there–part of his world. Mystery. Some eight and a half months ago or so, He knew glory beyond description–more than the eye of man can see or the ear hear, more than has even entered into the heart of man. He was the Wisdom of God, the eternal Son; He knew the worship of the angels, the power of the Creator, and the communion of God. Holy God. Holy Mighty. Holy Immortal. But then obedience. Emptying. Unknowingness. Uniting with a single cell in the womb of the Virgin. Being. Becoming. Mystery. Is he pretending? Is he playing a part, acting out a role? Does he remember? Could he open his mouth even now and explain the dance of the universes or the structure of the atom? To go years beyond the next ten days–will his baptism be the rising curtain of Act II, his passion the drama of Act III, and his exaltation the climax of Act IV? Are his lines memorized, waiting only for right cue? Mystery. Is divinity the ace up his sleeve?

Not for me. Not for you. We have only what we see, with light shining on it by the Word, focused by the Holy Spirit. He said, after all, that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. So we are surprised sometimes and struggle to put it all together–life, Word, Spirit, Word, life. Then sometimes the Spirit gives us an “ah-ha” moment–and we go on from there–life, Word, Spirit, Word, life, Spirit, Word, life . . . with nothing up our sleeves but faith in the love and faithfulness of God.

From the time He took that first giant step of obedience, was not life for him an experience

lamb bbarnesof following the Word through the Spirit, with further insights into life . . . Is it not true that “since therefore (we) share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things?” (Hebrews 2:14). Is it not the basis of our confidence that we have “one who in every respect has been tested-tried-tempted as we are, yet without sin?” (Hebrews 4:15). “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16).

Mystery. In ten days he is born. He does not smile beatifically at the holy mother. He does not lift his little hands to bless the lambs brought by the shepherds. When the cattle are lowing and the baby awakes, the little Lord Jesus cries his eyes out. Thank you, Jesus, my Lord and my God.

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Filed under Advent, Advent Devotional

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