Advent Devotional December 12

12.12.19 | Gifts | by Pastor Jason Valendy

    Scripture: John 14:27

    It may be an odd time to talk about the ascension of Jesus when we are anticipating his descension to the earth, but I believe John 14 has something for us in this season. Notice when Jesus leaves, he gives a gift to the disciples. Jesus gives the gift of peace.

    It is noteworthy that this is a gift rather than an offering. Gifts and offerings are different, and the difference lies in the location of power. In an offering, the power resides in the one who receives the offering. For instance, someone can offer to help mow your grass and you can choose to accept it or not. However, if someone gives the gift of mowing your lawn, you have only one choice, to accept it. The power of the gift resides with the giver.

    Jesus gives the gift of the Holy Spirit and we have little choice but to receive it. We Americans cringe a bit at the idea that we “have to” do anything and so the idea that we “have to accept” the gift of Christ may be off-putting. Perhaps God knows us better than we know ourselves. If the Holy Spirit was offered to the disciples and to us, chances are many of us would not accept it. We are convinced that we don’t need a “helper” (John 14:26). And so, Jesus gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Do we have the humility to accept such a gift? 

    Gracious God, may I have the courage and humility to accept the gift of Christ this day. Amen.

    Rev. Jason Valendy
    Co-Senior Pastor