Sunday, December 18, 2011

Advent - December 18

Psalm 24, 29, 8, 84

Genesis 3:8-15

Revelation 12:1-10

John 3:16-21

This fourth Sunday in Advent brings us to a time of reflection on our relationship with God. Today’s passages in Psalm 8, Genesis, and John in particular define our long history of being in relationship with him and our place in that relationship.

The psalmist in Psalm 8 asks the existential question, “What are human beings that you are mindful of them?” After his description of the breadth of creation, man occupied such a miniscule place, that even before modern science and telescopes that make even more of the universe available to us, the writer realized that creation was more vast than our simple brains could comprehend. The question turns rhetorical when in the next verse the psalmist answers it with an understanding that we are lower than God, but over the remainder of creation which leads to tremendous responsibility for those parts of creation put in our care.

Genesis continues the relationship between mankind and God as God makes a visit to the garden after Adam and Eve have eaten the forbidden fruit. He confronts them and then addresses the serpent, Satan in their midst. The depth of the relationship is further defined as there becomes God, mankind, and Satan on the different tiers based on the relationship to God. We rank above Satan, though sometimes it may seem that Satan has God’s ear as various stories in the Old Testament and even Revelation relate. Nevertheless, the truth is that we are closer to God and loved by him no matter the circumstance.

The Matthew passage confirms his unequaled love for us. Is there a more quoted verse than John 3:16? And is there a more ignored verse than John 3:17? The first declares his love for us and the second proves it. God preserves our relationship in ways far beyond what we deserve. It is our job to deserve to be the people of light and far from judgment. Let us remember his directions to us across the season of Advent and do our part to preserve the relationship with him as he would have it.

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