The Storyline of Christmas (Advent 2021, Week 3)
By J. Aaron White
Advent is a special time as we, the body of Christ, contemplate the Incarnation and eagerly await the second coming of our Lord. During our Sunday services, we will read excerpts from Scripture and light the corresponding Advent candles. In addition to this, we will send a weekly blog that unpacks the concept from Sunday's reading a little further. We pray that these blogs serve you in your personal devotions, family worship, etc. as you see God's sovereign power at work in the storyline of Christmas!
Reading – 2 Samuel 9:1-8
And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?” Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.” And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” The king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.” Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?”
The storyline of Christmas continues to show us that God intends to keep his promise to send a Savior, a snake-crushing Passover lamb. Yet, the story gets sweeter as we catch a glimpse of the coming Redeemer in the life of Mephibosheth. David was finally crowned as king after the death of Saul. Rather than vanquishing all of Saul’s family to ensure no rival to his throne would arise, David asked if anyone from Saul’s household was still alive. David’s beloved friend, Jonathan, had a son named Mephibosheth. When David summoned him into his presence, the crippled boy was undoubtedly terrified. But rather than pronouncing judgment against his enemy, king David pronounced an astonishing blessing that included pardon, adoption into the king’s family as a son, and a permanent place at the king’s dinner table.
The storyline of Christmas tells us that even the most broken, undeserving sinner can be treated like a beloved son or daughter. The Redeemer God promised to send will be a friend of sinners and a rescuer to the downtrodden and humble. The Puritan writer Isaac Ambrose captures the essence of Mephibosheth’s story, and ours: “Lord, you have looked on my poor condition, and you have visited me with mercy from on high. Though I was a stranger and a foreigner, you have made me a free citizen of the New Jerusalem.”
We light this candle with humble gratitude as we, like Mephibosheth, long to feast in the presence of our Savior and King.