Sunday, November 28

Welcome to your daily advent devotion from Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, IL Our theme for Advent is Surprise! God has been surprising humanity since Genesis. In these devotions we explore a variety of surprises throughout scripture, seeing how our generous and loving God has and continues to show up in surprising and unexpected ways. May your journey to the manger be filled with surprise and wonder!

Rev. Troy Medlin

And the Lord God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)

It does not take long for sin to enter the human story. Just three chapters in, we see humanity’s intrinsic pull towards ourselves and away from God and one another. We know this is true. This is not all that surprising. We know that like Adam and Eve we oftentimes feel shame and guilt. We know we have not lived up to our own standards we set for ourselves. This truth is familiar to us. As familiar as an old and worn sweater. It fits snug and we cannot seem to get rid of it.

What is surprising, though, about God, and the story that unfolds in scripture is what God’s response to our shame, guilt and sin is. After the initial consequences of sin are laid out God does something else. Just 21 verses later God comes to them. God comes to them and responds with kindness, and mercy. God clothes Adam and Eve. In the midst of alienation, shame, vulnerability, and loss. God clothes them. This is an act of pure grace.

In places of alienation, shame, vulnerability, loss, and even death God will continue to come to us in surprising ways offering good news and promise throughout this season of waiting. All of it pointing to the one who will clothe us with himself. The one who in baptism has become our clothing, our covering, and our salvation. Clothed with Christ we are free from sin and death. Alienated no longer we are covered in the warm blanket of God’s own presence both now and forever. This surprising promise comes just three chapters in. Warm and welcomed we wait for all the surprises God still has in store.

God of promise, give us eyes to see the surprising ways you come to us again and again. May we know that we are covered by you and safe forever. Fitted with the garments of salvation that will never wear out. May they be as familiar as an old and worn sweater. It fits snug and we cannot seem to get rid of it. Amen.

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