The twelfth day of Christmas, Epiphany, was yesterday. We have officially moved beyond the Christmas season. And this devotional series ends today. It is, after all, day 40.
I’m not sure I quite knew what I was biting off when I planned this series. It’s definitely been a stretch assignment, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and the skills I’ve learned.
If you have unanswered questions, or there are topics that you would love to read more about – please feel free to send me your ideas.
I want to keep the Faith In Grey Places site going as a repository for devotional, worship and creative materials. I would like to continue to email out materials (whether my own, or other people’s) though it won’t be on a daily basis!
Lastly, remember how the authors of the Bible often wanted to show that events were long foretold?
For a bit of fun, I’ll share one last clip – again from the film I mentioned yesterday, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.
You’ll see why!
A short look at the Bible
Today’s reading is Matthew 3:13-17.
Yesterday I said that water and fire are symbols for the Holy Spirit. Of course, they’re not the only symbols – the dove is also one. Hence you get artwork like this:
Jesus’s baptism marked the beginning of his public ministry. Well, OK, he spent 40 days in the wilderness before he started teaching. But at his baptism, John and the voice from heaven announced Jesus for who he was.
John called him the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” God the Father called him “My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
What would I call Jesus?
The truthful leader.
The compassionate mediator.
The dependable judge.
The seated one.
Leveller of the proud.
Giver of fire.
Cradler of the weary.
Maker of rest.
If you have appetite for another 750 words, I’ve written another monologue / narrative sermon, about the ministry of John the Baptist. It’s called Two Boys From Nazareth and it’s on my blog here. If you check it out, be sure to read to the end.
Carol: Of the Father’s Love Begotten
Written in Latin in the 5th century CE, by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, this beloved carol meditates on the first chapter of John’s gospel. It was then translated into English by H W Baker and J M Neale in the 19th century.
The lyrics are accessible on Hymnary.org.
Meanwhile, this was my favourite rendering on YouTube. (The song is 4:30 long, even though the video is over seven minutes.)
Invitation to pray
We each pray in our own way; some of the best advice I had was ‘Pray as you can, not as you can’t.’ So I offer an invitation to pray – not an instruction.
Write down three things that you have come to know about God over the last 40 days, or that you’ve been reminded of in a refreshing way. Thank God for them. Ask him to sustain you and be with you as you embark on the coming year.
If you have any questions or feedback about this series, please feel free to contact me. I do my best, but can make mistakes, and my theology is always under construction.
All posts in the series can be found via the tag Xmas2020.