Where are You? (Advent 1, 2020)

Taking stock of where we are isn’t exactly the modern way.  Maybe we don’t want to think about it.  It’s easier just to brush everything under the rug than to acknowledge who we are and what we have allowed ourselves to become. 

“They [Adam and Eve] sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.  Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?'” (Genesis 3:7-9). 

When God intervenes and asks Adam, “Where are you?” He wasn’t looking for geographical coordinates.  It wasn’t a divine version of Find My Phone.

He was calling Adam to look inward, to see for himself where he was, and to acknowledge what he had been doing.  It was a call to repentance.

As we begin this Advent season and our devotional series on Divine Intervention,
we can pause to consider this same most basic question by changing the pronoun. “Where am I?” 

Am I so far gone that I don’t know how far I’ve drifted into sin?
As a culture, are we so far gone that we no longer regard evil as evil?
Is it just a false narrative?
Have we normalized deception to bland background noise?

But don’t stop there with asking questions of ourselves. We need repentance.  When Adam and Eve were in Eden and the cool of the day came, it was God’s Divine Intervention with a simple question to wrest them out of their moment.  Hide, scramble, craft excuses, cover-up with fig leaves…all these distractions and confusion were pointless when God came and interrupted them to consider the simple fact: what they had done was already known by God.  And what they had done was wrong.

Questions for further thought:

  • What sins (small or great) have I committed that require a Savior to remedy as God’s Divine Intervention? 
  • In what ways can I be accused before a perfect and holy God of living in opposition to both perfection and holiness?
  • What does Advent have to do with a Savior?  Why was He needed?
  • Why is appropriate for God to ask us, “Where are YOU?” but for us only “Where am I?”
  • When bad things happen, how quick are we to ask God where He is… or was? Even with something as natural as catastrophes of weather or geology, are we equally quick to assess that sin–human sin–is why we have these natural disasters?
  • With the recent election, has my façade been stripped away and revealed a core of nastiness in my words that I’ve displayed for a world wide web?  Or have I been quick to show love and grace in the face of opposition?  Have I let insults slide or have I returned evil for evil? Where am I?
  • In whom do I trust? Do truth and integrity even matter to me anymore? Where am I?
  • Do I shrink back from fighting the spiritual battle against evil, letting evil have its day of victory over truth because I do nothing? Or do I believe letting the legal processes play out is one way God holds the line in the spiritual battle? Am I praying God’s will be done, even if it’s not what I want? Where am I?

Let’s pray:  Lord Jesus, thank You for coming at Christmas, that very first Advent, because of our dire situation on Earth.  “God with us” is truly remarkable, awesome, and amazing–that is who You are! O, Lord, what You gave up in order to be our Savior is beyond our comprehension.  You are Love and we offer You our all, all our praise and all our gratitude.

Heeding the “Where are you?” that You rightfully ask each of us to consider, may I be quick to repent, slow to accuse, and ready at all times—not with excuses for my behavior—but with one aim: to offer love and grace and witness to Your mercy and goodness.  It’s imperative that those who do not know You will see the witness of countless Christians in times such as these.  It’s important that the Truth still matters. It’s important that righteousness wins in the end!

You are the Lord God Almighty! We thank You for Your plan of redemption, our Father in heaven! What an act of grace that You put it into action immediately following that fateful moment of our fall from grace, though You’ve had redemption planned since before the Creation.  Even though mankind’s redemption and rescue has not been in our timing, we praise You and thank You that Your timing is perfect and we are perfected in the waiting.  May I be found at the foot of the Cross, waiting patiently for You, as I come to worship You with a heart of love and repentance. My Lord and my Savior, I pray this in Christ and for Your glory, Amen.

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Advent 2020 began Sunday, November 29th and continues to Thursday, December 24th as we celebrate the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and look forward to His Second Coming.  “Divine Intervention” is this year’s devotional study. By signing up on the sidebar of my Home Page you can receive these daily devotionals. Or they will be reposted on SeminaryGal’s Facebook page as well.

Together we will see how God has been actively involved all along as Divine Intervention for a hurting world and nations in tumult– Intervention for you and for me when our status as sinners required nothing short of a miracle.

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Acknowledging inquiries about an entire season’s devotionals for your study group’s planning purposes, Seminary Gal’s prior seasons’ Advent devotionals can be accessed via the archives to the right and are as follows: 

  • Last year’s Advent Devotional Series God’s Christmas list explored what might be on God’s Christmas list, learning what He wants from us. It began December 1, 2019.
  • Storyteller began December 2, 2018 and entered into the Christmas story through its telling.
  • The 2017 series Still Christmas, began December 3, 2017 and was the Advent complement to the Lenten series, Be Still and Know that I AM God.
  • The 2016 season devotionals were called Timeless: The Message of Christmas for All Ages” and explored how the message of Christmas is timeless truth, for all ages of people, and for all ages at all times.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love as we looked into the Word, saw the face of our Lord Jesus, and experienced restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless. The 2016 devotionals began November 27, 2016.
  • The 2015 season devotionals were titled Incarnation and involved digging deep–and yes, I mean deep– in this important mystery of Christian theology.  They began November 29, 2015.
  • Carol Me, Christmas! remains one of my most popular offerings and tells the Christmas story through our most beloved Christmas hymns and carols.  You can access all of the numbered devotionals from 2014 via the archives.  They began November 30, 2014.
  • The 2013 series was Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up in Person and examined the Prologue to the Gospel of John.  It began December 1, 2013.
  • The 2012 series focused on Expecting the Unexpected…the unexpected, unlikely, and uniquely divine qualities of God’s perfect plan outlined in Luke’s account of the Christmas story.  It began December 1, 2012.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on November 29, 2020

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