Wednesday, December 5, 2012

First Week of Advent: Flawed People

Tonya Marlow at Thorns and Gold wrote an Advent post today and invited other bloggers to link up their own posts. What a great idea! 

This year I'm using this simple outline for Advent:

First week--Patriarchs
Second week--Prophets
Third week--John the Baptist
Fourth week--Mary

Today, during this first week of Advent, I'm thinking about the Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jacob's twelve sons. These are giant figures in Biblical history. I remember them in flannelboard pictures in Sunday School. Abraham the Friend of God. Joseph in his coat of many colors.

Yet for all their historical significance, these men were far from perfect. Abraham lied about his wife's identity and had a baby with his wife's maid. Isaac followed his father's example and lied about his wife. Isaac loved one son more than the other. Jacob was tricky, had a favorite son, and was more than friendly with his wives' maids. Ten of Jacob's sons sold their brother into slavery. Even Joseph in that colorful coat was a boastful kid.

God chose these men to begin the nation that would eventually host the Messiah. God made great promises to these flawed men.

Isn't that the message of Advent? God makes great promises to people who have big flaws.

Because God knows us and loves us anyway.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His faithful love
toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed
our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He knows what we are made of,
remembering that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass—
he blooms like a flower of the field;
when the wind passes over it, it vanishes,
and its place is no longer known.
But from eternity to eternity
the Lord’s faithful love is toward those who fear Him...
(Psalm 103:11-17)
For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)

God's faithful love is toward those who...
...remembered to buy candles for their Advent wreath?
...saved all year to have a big Christmas shopping budget?
...sent out 85 handwritten Christmas cards?
...can recall the name of that Advent devotional that introduced her to this outline?

Well, yes. And the rest of us too.
God's faithful love reaches out to ungodly people--people with flaws.
Advent speaks to us of God's promises and God's message to us.
God speaks to flawed people.


Next week: God speaks to People who will share the Message

I am keeping track of my favorite Advent blogposts on Storify. Here's my collection for this first week. I'll be adding to it.

photo credit: Per Ola Wiberg ~ powi via photopin cc


  1. This is great! Every time I read the chapter in Hebrews on the heroes of faith, I also cannot help but think that they can easily have been a group of rogues. Well, our Lord did come to seek and save the lost!

  2. I found you via Tanya. I too have been blogging a lot about the messy-ness of advent.

  3. God makes big promises to flawed people. I love this Advent perspective! I also read a good advent book on Advent which followed this pattern - don't know if it was the same one? The Meang is in the Waiting - Paula Gooder. I enjoyed the long think through the various people waiting in the Bible. Thanks for linking up!

  4. Isn't this fantastic? One of my personal life themes during the past year or so has been coming to grips with my weaknesses and flaws. So a message like this is SO encouraging.