There’s Only Room for One

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me…”                    –  Galatians 2:20

 In past years, I would be knee deep in Advent preaching and preparation during this season. No longer having that responsibility but having others in its place, I have to admit that I’ve allowed my need to acclimate to my new duties to eclipse my awareness of the specialness of this season.  The truth is that between the busyness associated with this new role and taking some time off to celebrate a milestone event with my wife, I’ve paid scant attention to the season…until last night.

Image result for advent

Even then, I wasn’t thinking specifically about Advent as much as a theme that has occupied my focus for much of the past year: the idea that GOD is one (Deuteronomy 6:4), and the corollary commands that we, His people, are to love Him with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our strength, that we allow our lives to be subsumed in this love, and that we be diligent in teaching our children to do the same (Deuteronomy 6:5-9).

Isn’t this the reason for the first Advent?  Isn’t it to open the door of GOD’s grace to enable any and all to become united in this oneness and experience this love as an experienced reality (and not just an intellectualized doctrine), through the Person of Jesus Christ?  Isn’t this the thing Jesus prayed for in John 17? Sidebar: By the way, I purposefully used the present tense because GOD’s offer remains a present possibility.

Image result for no room in the inn

Advent is so much more than room being made in an animal stall for the Christ child, and the wonderment that followed. The location of His birth may have begun with a small accommodation by an innkeeper, but the gift of His life is GOD’s grand accommodation to us.

We need an exchange: His life for ours, for GOD’s offer is nothing less than the pathway to life. Paul, with his extraordinary statement in Galatians 2:20, makes this as plain as it can get: The  life of Jesus is life (“I am the way, the truth, and the life”- John 14:6).

Image result for i must become less so he can become more

When I consider what the Law and the Prophets say about Him, what He did and said, the testimony of His disciples, the teachings of His apostles, and my own experience of Him, I can only reach one conclusion: There’s only room for One. He emptied Himself for the sake of the Father; I must empty myself for His sake…and let His life occupy this room that I call me.  May it be so.

 Emmanuel, Emmanuel,                                                                                                                      

His name is called Emmanuel.                                                                                                      

God with us, revealed in us,                                                                                                            

His name is called Emmanuel.

 

© Byron L. Hannon, 2018. All rights reserved for text content except as noted.

Emmanuel copyright held by C.A. Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.), 1976.

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