Links Daily Devotional

The Mystery Revealed

…making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:9-10, NIV)

Golf is a mysterious game wrapped in unpredictability. The swing tip we used during our previous round doesn’t quite feel the same in the next. A three-foot putt can make us weak in the knees, while a 30-foot breaking putt may effortlessly fall in the hole. Weather conditions impact how the ball responds. What we feel in our body is usually not what is happening. I could keep going, but I think you get the point. With practice we can improve, but this game will never be mastered.

Life also feels mysterious to me. Some days I jump out of bed with a bounce in my step, ready to conquer the day. On other days, I feel like a slug, slowly and methodically inching my way along. Violence, disease and failure fling us into funnel clouds leaving us bruised inside and out. Love, new life, and success sail us on smooth waters, yet an unpredictable turn in the river may lead to a crushing waterfall at any point in time.

When Joseph and Mary staggered into Bethlehem on the eve of Jesus’ birth, I imagine their hearts were flooded with both anticipation and uncertainty for the mystery of God’s plan to unfold. As we welcome Christmas Eve, we know how God’s love emptied himself to unite heaven and earth over 2000 years ago. Jesus has come and we should be tingling with anticipation and hope. God will always be wrapped in mystery, but his love is no longer unpredictable. He is all in.

The chorus of Amy Grant’s “The Night Before Christmas” offers us the wonderful truth about Christmas Eve, a truth that I will be singing throughout today and into Christmas morning.

But you don’t have to be an angel
To sing harmony
You don’t have to be a child
To love the mystery
And you don’t have to be a wise man
On bended knee
The heart of this Christmas is in you and me

The heart of Christmas is Immanuel, God with us. This is the best gift of all.

Tracy Hanson
December 24, 2015
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