Advent Devotion for December 18, Fourth Sunday in Advent
In lighting the candle, the candle lighter says: “I will be his father and he will be my son.”
SCRIPTURE: I Chronicles 17:10b-14
“‘Furthermore, I declare that the Lord will build a house for you—a dynasty of kings! 11 For when you die and join your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, one of your sons, and I will make his kingdom strong. 12 He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for me. And I will secure his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my favor from him as I took it from the one who ruled before you. 14 I will confirm him as king over my house and my kingdom for all time, and his throne will be secure forever.’”
SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 1:5-8
5 For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus:
“You are my Son.
Today I have become your Father.”
God also said,
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son.”
6 And when he brought his supreme Son into the world, God said,
“Let all of God’s angels worship him.”
7 Regarding the angels, he says,
“He sends his angels like the winds,
his servants like flames of fire.”
8 But to the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.
You rule with a scepter of justice.
SOME THOUGHTS: In the above passage from 1 Chronicles, the prophet, Nathan, is talking with King David and telling him that the Lord has said that his son, Solomon, will be the one to build the Temple. The Lord also said that he (God), would be his father and that he (Solomon) would be his son along with the promise that his throne would be secure forever. Clearly, Solomon did not live forever but the father/son relationship and the eternal kingdom was prophetic and true. You may ask, “How do we know that this is really the connection?” You’ll recall from some of our earlier comments that God made a covenant with David that one of his descendants would rule eternally. Matthew, among others, established that connection. (See Dec. 13) The writer of Hebrews makes all of this perfectly clear and specific. The Father is God; the Son is Jesus. Not only that, but the angels are commanded to worship the Son, something that is reserved for God alone! The author concludes the passage with the affirmation that the Son’s throne will be eternal. One of the things happening here is a fuller understanding of the Trinity. The Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). The Father is not the Son, nor the Holy Spirit. The Son is not the Father, nor the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the Father, nor the Son. Yet all are God, three in one, one in three. Though the word “Trinity” is to be found nowhere in the Bible, as unbelievers are quick to point out, the whole of Scripture clearly points to the three in one God in Jesus’ own words. “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19. The doctrine of the Trinity is a major departure from Islam, Mormonism and Jehovah Witnesses among other faiths, as none embrace the biblical doctrine of the Trinity.
MUSIC: "Of the Father's Love Begotten"
- St Martin's Chamber Choir (YouTube)
- English Congregation, BBC1 (YouTube)
- Fernando Ortega, piano (YouTube)
- Choir of St George's Cathedral (YouTube)
PRAYER: O Thou to whom I owe the gift of this day’s life, give to me also, the spirit to use it as I ought. Forbid that I should stain the brightness of the morning with any evil thought or darken the noontide with any shameful deed. Let Thy Holy Spirit breathe into my heart today all pure and heavenly desires. Let Thy truth inform my mind. Let Thy justice and righteousness make a throne within me and rule my errant will. Let Christ be formed in me, and let me learn of Him all lowliness of heart, all gentleness of bearing, all modesty of speech, all helpfulness of action, and promptness in the doing of my Father’s Will. This I pray in the glorious name of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. — John Baillie, A Diary of Private Prayer, p.109