Monday Dec. 16
Scripture: Isaiah 53:3-5
The miracle of childbirth occurs through the agony of labor. The miracle of spiritual rebirth occurs through the agony of God becoming human, experiencing every pain and stress of human life, dying upon a cross and rising again. The birth of Christ as Christmas is given to us so we might know the second birth offered by Christ upon the cross.
Just as Isaiah predicted that the virgin would conceive and bear a son who will be God with us (Isaiah 7:14), Isaiah 53 tells us how we will be redeemed by God with us suffering for us to redeem and forgive us.
So long as we look for our salvation in our accomplishments, resources, titles, social groups, ethnicity, or intellect we are drawing from dry wells. These sources will never satisfy the deepest craving of our souls.
When we find there is someone willing to suffer for our sin, our shame, our faults, and our shortcomings – we can finally see the very nature of love. Not that we have loved Him but that He has loved us. And in His love for us we learn how to love one another.
There is no other power, no other experience, no other set of beliefs which can compare to knowing the love of Christ. Knowing the love of someone willing to lay down their life for you at your very worst leads to discovering the joy of doing your very best to follow wherever He leads.
Prayer: God of the cross and God of the empty tomb, forgive my sins, heal my shame, and restore me to the joy of your presence. Let me no longer search for my self-worth in the dry wells of ego, circumstance, or the opinions of others. Wrap me in your embrace and teach me what it means to be your child. Amen.