ADVENT WEEK FOUR: INCARNATION – DAY SIX: Wonderful Counselor” (Isa. 9:6) is the name of this child: In the form of a human child, God gave us his Son; God became human, the Word became flesh (John 1:14) Amen 🙏



ADVENT WEEK FOUR: INCARNATION – DAY SIX – The Word Became INCARNATE: In him the wonder of all wonders has taken place; the birth of the Savior-child has gone forth from God’s eternal counsel.

December 24, 2021

The Unfathomably Wise Counselor

To those who recognize in Jesus the wonder of the Son of God, every one of his words and deeds becomes a wonder; they find in him the last, most profound, most helpful counsel for all needs and questions. Yes, before the child can open his lips, he is full of wonder and full of counsel. Go to the child in the manger. Believe him to be the Son of God, and you will find in him wonder upon wonder, counsel upon counsel.

In winter it seems that the season of Spring will never come, and in both Advent and Lent it’s the waiting that’s hard, the in-between of divine promise and its fulfillment.… Most of us find ourselves dangling in this hiatus, which in the interval may seem a waste of time.… But “the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” With such motivation, we can wait as we sense that God is indeed with us, and at work within us, as he was with Mary as the Child within her grew.

Poet Luci Shaw, in God with Us

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Galatians 4:4–7

To Be Redeemed, We Must have the Redeemer’s Nature

Romans 5:12–18; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Hebrews 2:16

In order to be redeemed, we must all have that nature which He the Redeemer took. Had our natures been different, He would have redeemed one and not another. Such a common nature we have, as being one and all children of one man, Adam; and thus the history of our fall is connected with the history of our recovery.

John Henry Newman (1801–1890)

Today Night Is Turned into Day

Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16; Luke 2:8–14

Today the angels rejoice, the archangels exult, and all the just are in devotion and spiritual joy. Today night is turned into day and great brightness, for to the righteous of heart a light is risen up in darkness: the merciful and compassionate Lord.

Thomas à Kempis (ca. 1380–1471)

Today the World’s Maker Is Born

Luke 2:8–15; John 1:14

Today the maker of the world was born of a virgin’s womb, and He, who made all natures, became son of her whom He created. Today the Word of God appeared clothed in flesh, and that which had never been visible to human eyes began to be tangible to our hands as well. Today the shepherds learned from angels’ voices that the Savior was born in the substance of our flesh and soul; and today the form of the gospel message was prearranged by the leaders of the Lord’s flocks, so that we too may say with the army of the heavenly host: “Glory in the highest to God, and on earth peace to men of good will.”

Leo the Great (ca. 400–461)

Truth Came into the Womb

John 14:6; 18:37–38

Sin had spread its wings, and covered all things, so that none could discern, of himself or from above, the truth. Truth came down into the womb, came forth and rolled away error.

Ephrem the Syrian (306–373)

Understanding Spiritual Things by the Flesh

John 1:14; Romans 8:5; 1 Corinthians 2:14

Since man, on account of the flesh, could understand nothing but what was of the flesh, behold, the Word was made flesh that man might be able even by the flesh to hear and understand the things of the Spirit.

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153)

Very God Was Born in Very Man

Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35; Philippians 2:6–7

While the distinctness of both natures and substances was preserved, and both met in one Person, lowliness was assumed by majesty, weakness by power, mortality by eternity; and, in order to pay the debt of our condition, the inviolable nature was united to the passible.… Therefore in the entire and perfect nature of very man was born very God, whole in what was His, whole in what was ours.

Leo the Great (ca. 400–461)

We Cannot Be Saved without Humility

Luke 1:38

We can be saved without virginity, not without humility. A soul that has to deplore the loss of virginity may still be acceptable to God by humility: without humility, I will venture to say that even the virginity of Mary would not have been pleasing to Him, the Divine Majesty.

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153)

We Are Now Reminded of God’s Gifts

Luke 2:10; John 13:34–35; 15:12, 17; 1 John 3:23; Revelation 19:13

Let us at this season approach Him with awe and love, in whom resides all perfection, and from whom we are allowed to gain it. Let us come to the sanctifier to be sanctified. Let us come to Him to learn our duty, and to receive grace to do it. At other seasons of the year we are reminded of watching, toiling, struggling, and suffering; but at this season we are reminded simply of God’s gifts towards us sinners.… Christ comes at other times with garments dyed in blood. But now He comes to us in all serenity and peace, and He bids us rejoice in Him, and to love one another.

John Henry Newman (1801–1890)

We Are One with Christ, and One with God

Isaiah 7:14; 49:10; Matthew 1:23; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; 5:23, 31–32; Colossians 1:18

Emmanuel became man to make the church and every Christian to be one with Him. Christ’s nature is out of danger of all that is hurtful. The sun shall not shine, the wind shall not blow, to the church’s hurt. For the church’s head rules over all things, and has all things in subjection. Angels in heaven, men on earth, devils in hell, all bow to Christ. And shall anything befall them that He loves, unless for their greater good?… God is on our side, and on what grounds? God-man has procured Him to be our friend, He has satisfied God, and therefore if we believe, we are one with Christ, and so one with God.

Richard Sibbes (1577–1635)

We Become His Body by Being Reborn

John 1:13; Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 1:18; 2:19

As the Lord Jesus became our flesh by being born, so we also became His body by being reborn.

Leo the Great (ca. 400–461)

We Can No Longer Think God Is Indifferent

Isaiah 64:1; Luke 1:68; Hebrews 7:25; James 4:8

We can no more think that God sits on high, indifferent to the wants and woes of men, for God has visited us and come down to the lowliness of our estate. No longer need we bemoan that we can never participate in the moral glory and purity of God, for if God in glory can come down to His sinful creature, it is certainly less difficult to bear that creature, blood-washed and purified, up that starry way, that the redeemed one may sit down forever on his throne. Let us dream no longer in somber sadness that we cannot draw near to God so that He will really hear our prayer and pity our necessities, seeing that Jesus has become bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, born a babe as we are born, living a man as we must live, bearing the same infirmities and sorrows, and bowing His head to the same death.

Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892)

We Could Not See God Until He Was Manifested to Us

Exodus 33:20; 1 Timothy 6:16; 1 John 4:9

The brightness of the sun might put out our eyes if we gazed upon it, and we must needs look through dim glass, and then the sun is manifested to us. So the excessive glory of the infinite Godhead cannot be borne by our mind’s eye till it comes into communication and union with the nature of man, and then God is manifest to us.

Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892)

We Enter the Kingdom in Feebleness

Matthew 18:4; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17; Romans 6:8; Colossians 3:3

We need to die with Christ—that is the way to get delivered from the old man and self, the way to receive the heavenly life as a little child, and so to enter the Kingdom. The feebleness of Bethlehem and the manger, of Calvary and the grave, was Christ’s way to enter the Kingdom—for us there is no other way.

Andrew Murray (1828–1917)

We May Call God Our Father Because Christ Became Our Brother

Luke 1:35; John 20:17; Romans 8:29

We may venture more freely to call God our Father, because His only Son, in order that we might have a Father in common with Him, chose to be our brother.

John Calvin (1509–1564)[2]

We Remember the Love of Jesus

Matthew 26:36–39; Mark 14:32–36; John 3:16; Romans 8:34

We remember your love, O Jesus, as it was manifested to us in your holy life, from the manger of Bethlehem to the garden of Gethsemane!

We track you from the cradle to the grave, for every word and every deed of yours was love.

Especially, O Jesus, we remember your love to us upon the cross!

We gaze upon you with your hands and your feet nailed to the accursed tree.

We remember your love that you manifested through your poor, bleeding hands, and feet, and side.

We remember this love of yours until it invigorates and cheers us:

the love that you have exercised since your death,

the love of your resurrection,

the love that prompts you continually to intercede before your Father’s throne,

that burning lamp of love that will never let you hold your peace until your chosen ones are all safely housed, and Zion is glorified, and the spiritual Jerusalem is settled on her everlasting foundations.

Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892)

[1] Bonhoeffer, D. (2010). God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas. (J. Riess, Ed., O. C. Dean Jr., Trans.) (First edition, pp. 60–61). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.

[2] Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2013). 300 Quotations and Prayers for Christmas. Lexham Press.

[3] Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2013). 300 Quotations and Prayers for Christmas. Lexham Press.

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