I’m excited about what is coming up on the blog. If you go to the home page you will see a new item on the navigation bar. Advent begins Sunday, December 2. Each day, I will be posting a short Advent devotional from December 2 until December 24 in preparation for Christmas. I’ll send weekly reminders to subscribers, so if you’d like to be kept in the loop, don’t forget to subscribe. If you don’t like to check email, all you need to do is refresh your browser page each day and the new post will appear.
I have a friend who we affectionately call “The Baby Whisperer.” To be fair, she is gifted with people of all ages, but her passion is for littles. It’s no wonder she is the kindergarten teacher most parents request. She and I raised our children together, so I’ve had the privilege to get to see all her tricks up close.
For a time, my friend kept kids in her home as a business. Watching her parent other people’s children was incredible. I don’t know what kind of sorcery she practiced, but I watched her calm the fussiest of babies as if it was the easiest task in the world. What was most amazing, though, is how she handled discipline. Most of the time all she had to do was lift her little finger. Literally.
I can’t count the number of times I watched her get down on a child’s level, set the age-appropriate boundaries, and then hold up her little finger inviting the child to enter into a behavior contract with a “pinky promise.” Amazingly, this worked (for her—never for me) more times than it didn’t.
You know what a pinky promise is, right?
It’s when you hold up your pinky finger and the other party to the contract holds up her pinky. You hook your pinkies together to signal your binding oath. It’s a tangible promise. You break it to your shame.
Every oath is a conduit of character. One who makes an oath stakes her character on whether or not she follows through. It’s likely you have been on the receiving end of a broken promise. And though we don’t like to talk about the flip side of it, you and I have probably broken our fair share, too.
Promises are only as good as the character and ability of the one who makes them.
Standing on the threshold of the Christmas season is an excellent time to be reminded that we follow a God who makes promises. It’s an even better time to be reminded that we follow a God who keeps them, too.
Every tiny detail.
Exactly as he said.
For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes [answer] in Him [Christ]. For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him [in His Person and by His agency] to the glory of God. —2 Corinthians 1:20 (AMPC)
Jesus, the Promised One, is the fulfillment and culmination of every prophecy and promise God has ever made. Jesus is God’s best yes!
It’s no wonder that every visitor to the manger bowed in worship. All who held the promised infant praised God. Of all who were among the first to cradle Him, my favorite account is that of Simeon.
There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said,
you can dismiss your servant in peace,
as you promised.
For my eyes have seen your salvation.
You have prepared it
in the presence of all peoples—
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and glory to your people Israel.
Luke 2:25-32 CSB (emphasis mine)
No one worships more than the one who has been watching and waiting for the fulfillment of the promise.
Jesus was Adam’s yes.
Jesus was Abraham’s yes.
Jesus was David’s yes.
Jesus was Israel’s yes.
Jesus was Simeon’s yes.
Jesus is your yes.
Jesus is the yes to every promise of God.
Advent invites us to remember that God keeps all of his promises, and He keeps them in Jesus.
This is the promise that remains: Jesus will come again. Not as a baby. As a King. Every knee will bow to him. Some will bow in submission as His conquered foe, but those who have been watching and waiting will bow in worship at the appearance of the final Promise. May we be the Simeons of our generation who have searching eyes for the salvation that is still to come.
So be it!!