category: Advent

2023 Advent Devotion: Day 19

Thursday, December 21

Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26; 2 Samuel 6:1-11; Hebrews 1:1-4

I am a huge Star Wars fan. Though I will always prefer the originals, I am enjoying the serials on Disney+. My favorite, by far, is the Mandalorian. It chronicles the adventures of a Mandalorian bounty hunter, Din Djarin, and his relationship with the “Child,” who is of the same species as Jedi Master Yoda. As Din Djarin and the “Child” evade others seeking the youngling’s special abilities, they encounter others forging lives for themselves after the fall of the Galactic Empire.

One such character is named Kuiil, who belongs to the dwarf-like race called Ugnaughts. He tells Din that he was a slave to the Galactic Empire and worked hard for the opportunity to build a life after earning his freedom. He was a hard worker who spoke directly. He valued simplicity in speech. He wasted little time arguing. When he was ready to end the conversation, he did so emphatically with the words, “I have spoken.”

Like Kuill, the author of Hebrews wastes few words and little time at the outset of his magnificent sermon. I can hear the passion in the author’s voice as this masterpiece is proclaimed to a struggling congregation. I can feel the eyes of numerous congregants fixated on the proclaimer. God has spoken through a Son! Listen! Pay attention!

The author’s claim that God has spoken through a Son is truly a revolutionary one. It is one that draws attention to the Son over against the previous ways God has spoken. Yes, God has spoken through prophets. God has spoken throughout history. God has spoken in various ways. But “in these last days,” Jesus is the definitive word.

Why? As the beginning and ending of God’s story, this Son reveals God’s character. If we want to know who God is, we must look no further than Jesus.

When Jesus touches the outcast leper, we see God. When Jesus touched the widow of Nain’s son’s funeral bier, giving life to the dead, we see God. When Jesus ate with Levi the tax collector, we see God. When Jesus intervenes to save the woman caught in adultery, we see God. When Jesus proclaims parables of the Kingdom from a boat on the Sea of Galilee or instructions on how to pray from the mountainside, we see God. When we see Jesus dying on a Roman cross, we see God. And when we see the risen Lord meet Mary Magdalene in the garden, we see God.

And though the words of the prophets and the messages of the angels continue to inspire, we must pay attention to Jesus. For Jesus is the one through whom God has spoken definitively. Through the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, God has revealed that he loves us, forgives us, and gives life, both eternal and abundant. We simply must pay attention and trust that in Jesus, God has truly spoken.

Timothy A. Marsh
School of Divinity Student

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2023 Advent Devotion: Day 18

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2023 Advent Devotion: Day 20

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