A few Advents ago, I met a new-to-me British author, Tim Chester, through his Advent devotional The One True Light. I’ve loved this little volume that has led me year by year through the first eighteen verses of the Gospel of John.
Well, this year I discovered his other two Advent books: The One True Gift (based on Philippians, chapter 2) and The One True Story (based on the story of Christ through the Old Testament to Jesus’ Coming). So this year, each Advent day finds me meditating through all three, each one in turn.
The books are not coordinated, but one day in reading all three, a thread grabbed and entwined me in an amazing truth: Jesus is not only Emmanuel, God with Us; He is also Emmanuel, Us with God!
This is what I read:
He became one with us so that we could become one with him, and so share his relationship with the Father. (One True Gift, p. 62)
Jesus is not only God-with-us, he’s also become us-with-God… Jesus is the true Adam, trusting God’s word. Jesus is the true Israel, remaining faithful to God under pressure in the wilderness. Jesus is the true humanity, perfectly embodying all that humanity was intended to be… He’s our representative. His faithfulness becomes our faithfulness. Our humanity is now wrapped up in His humanity…. Jesus who sits at the right hand of the Father has a real body. He’s still as human as you are. There’s a human being in the presence of God. He is us-with-God. And He is the promise that one day we will join him — along with our resurrected bodies.
What should you do when you are tempted…when you fail and fall into temptation? Look up. Look up and see Jesus in heaven as your representative. Your place with God is as secure as his. For Jesus is us-with-God. (One True Story, p. 76-78)
We are in Christ, so we are in the Trinity. We are linked to the Son and so we are linked to the Trinity. We have become part of the triune community. We are part of the family.
So we share in the fellowship between the Father and the Son. God loves us with the same love that he has towards his own Son. God feels the same that he feels towards Jesus. He can no more stop loving you than he can stop loving Jesus. …
This is why Jesus came. This is what his advent, his arrival, is all about: giving us the right to become children of God… Our new birth is what makes us God’s children — not our efforts. Relating to God is not complicated or hard. It is as simple as a child relating to her father. so our job is to trust in God as our Father: to see his smile, to welcome his embrace, to enjoy his love. (The One True Light, p. 50-51)