Pause

In pictures, Jesus sometimes cradles a lamb or a child. Sometimes he stands in judgment holding a book. Often we see him in agony upon a cross. Sometimes he sits on his mother’s lap looking like a tiny king.

If you were asked to draw Jesus, what would he look like?

Who do you know Jesus to be?

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Listen

I thank my God always for you, because of God’s grace that was given to you in Christ Jesus. That is, you were made rich through him in everything: in all your communication and every kind of knowledge, in the same way that the testimony about Christ was confirmed with you. The result is that you aren’t missing any spiritual gift while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also confirm your testimony about Christ until the end so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and you were called by him to partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:4-9

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Think

Whenever I face a challenge at school or work or home, I always feel like I need to figure it out on my own. Sometimes it’s because I don’t want to bother or burden other people. Sometimes it’s because I feel like it’s something I should be able to do. I’m ashamed that I can’t quite sort things out like everyone else around me.

Paul tells us, however, that our gifts and skills and abilities aren’t for us alone. They are to be shared. We are “called by God to partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” Jesus is our partner, our support in times of need, our coworker in times of strength.

When we need support, Jesus lifts us through those around us, through teachers and friends, through parents and neighbors. When we are strong, Jesus invites us to share in his work of healing and reconciling, to use our gifts to partner with him in that holy work. We need not go it alone. Jesus, our partner, is with us.

Phillip Fackler

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Pray

Faithful God, thank you for calling me into partnership with Jesus and for giving me gifts to share in Jesus’ work. Grant me greater trust in you that I can ask for the help I need without fear or shame. Help me share my gifts with others in ways that bring your healing to the hurting places of this world. Amen.

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Go

Jesus spoke to the people again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

Phillip Fackler

Phillip Fackler is an Episcopal priest, aspiring academic, and resident of Raleigh, NC. Occasionally, he can be found attempting to reason with his young children, relaxing outdoors with his family, or wandering an art museum.

Advent: Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Mark Hayes

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