Have you noticed that the more your eyes adjust to the darkness of the night sky (provided you can escape the electric lights!) the more stars, planets and even satellites you can see? But it takes patience. Likewise, the longer you linger over a landscape, the more you see in terms of plant and animal life. But it takes time and attentiveness. Those who hurry miss so much! Those who think they already know what is there also miss so much. Pride, inattention, hurry… these are the enemies of the spiritual life. But they are the constant fare of our daily lives.

One of the secrets to spiritual vitality is taking time to look at God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In this Advent and Christmas season, it is fitting that we take time to look at Jesus. There are dozens and dozens of titles for Jesus that help us see the eternal riches that God has given us in him. In our Advent preaching series we will look at four of those titles: prophet, priest, king and mediator.

All these titles or roles for Jesus were first introduced in the Old Testament. As we have been studying The Story, we have been learning that God prepared the way for Christ’s coming. The first promise of a redeemer was hinted at in Genesis 3:15, God spoke to the serpent and said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, but you will strike his heel.” God also promised David that a messiah, a savior, one who would be king forever, would come from his lineage (2 Samuel 7:9-16).

Carlo Carretto wrote, “His coming is bound to his promise, not to our works or virtue. We have not earned the meeting with God because we have served him faithfully… God is thrust onward by his love, not attracted by our beauty. He comes even in moments when we have done everything wrong, when we’ve done nothing… when we have sinned.”

The longer you look at the Bible, the more you see God’s grace and promise. The longer you look at Christ, the more you see of God’s mercy and glory.

Like you, I lead a very full life. But I work diligently to make time to look at the Lord every day. Most often this is in the morning, even before I get out of bed. I greet the Lord when I awaken and meditate on what I have been reading in the Bible. I pray and ask God to keep my eyes focused on him all day. Those who hurry miss so much. Give your soul a change by taking time for what really matters.

See you in church!