I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. (Ecclesiastes 3:10-11; Galatians 4:4-5; 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, NKJV)
I date back to the day when you actually wrote letters to the one you love. No e-mail or texting; no cell phones or instant messaging to communicate. Quick notes passed in class, calls from the dorm phone (or a pay phone), and letters written on stationery. Oh, those were the days! Don't get me wrong, I'm quite fond of the speed of communication in this "modern" world. My cell phone and e-mail keep me in touch with my family and friends and the world of social networking has renewed contact and added new people to my life. But it seems to pale in comparison to the passion and thought a letter takes. And oh the stories they tell ...
God is telling us a story. In fact, He has written part of it on our very hearts. Talk about a personal letter! We don't understand the whole thing - we won't for quite some time - but the very substance of His writing is woven into our DNA. And as this great story unfolds, God continues to write (or more accurately reveal) more of the script to us.
In the fullness of time - at just the right moment - God writes Jesus into humanity, complete with all the frailty we experience and yet so very different. He wrote His very love in the most personal of ways. Paul uses the word "commends" in Romans. I've always associated that with making a special delivery. It's His most important communication to date and He doesn't want us to miss it. In the very center of Advent, we find that Baby nestled into humanity in the most peculiar way. Each year, we have the chance to be reminded about it once again as we re-read God's Eternal Love Letter to us.
And having accepted this wonderful gift, and with a growing understanding of the letter of eternity God has written on our heart, we become an extension of His love to a dark and confused world. We are God's love notes - written with the pen of the Holy Spirit - for all to read so they might be pointed back to the One for whom we celebrate and on whom we depend. We become part of His greater story for all to read. As Paul put it, we become the very letter of Christ.
I write this post as we approach the lighting of the fourth candle in our Advent wreath. We're currently reading a story during this season of a girl's journey to find that Special Baby. We've lit the candles of Hope, Love, and Peace and now eagerly await that final outer candle of Joy. But the story isn't complete without the center candle for Christ Himself. The one Perfect Letter from God to us expressing just how much He loves us. The story of eternity, taking its most important turn.
The Crooked Path promises nothing but the Hope of the One who waits at the end. And He has been there from the very beginning - throughout all eternity. My part in the story is so very small by comparison, yet it is so important to Him that He writes His Love Letter to me in the most personal way. He is my Father, my Brother, my source of Love. His letter to me asks that I join Him and let Him write more on my heart.
- If somebody read your heart, what would they read? Would they see God's love, His eternal story unfolding?
- Are you comfortable reading God's personal love letter to you? Can you grasp the idea that He did that - that it is that personal?
- Are you willing to embrace Jesus in a fresh way - perhaps especially because it is Advent? Will you take that risk so that God can write more of His story on your heart?