The Secure Link of Incarnation
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit,
who is in you, whom you have received from God?
You are not your own;
you were bought at a price.
I Corinthians 6:19-20a NIV
All afternoon we cried out to God, and there were terrible moments when I wondered what I would do if God failed to help me, if I would simply have to cry out like this the rest of my life.
Then suddenly my pleading was interrupted by an amazing awareness of Christ in me. From that center where He and I were mysteriously one, I extended forgiveness to my enemy. At that same moment, I was delivered out of the grip of the worst temptation I’d ever known…
…Christ in me was securely linking me to God the Father in all His sovereignty and to all else in highest heaven, above and beyond me. That incarnational link had been the reality through this whole terrible time.
Had I learned to acknowledge and celebrate God’s immanence as well as His sovereignty, I would have prayed more effectively, and from a much quieter, less frantic place. I would have been secure in the knowledge that Christ was closer to me than any human being could ever be; He was with me in this warfare…. 
Advent calls us to meditate on God’s immanence: He is really present and operating within this world and within our beings. It is all too easy to live, work, and even pray as though He’s far away, and so we need this annual pilgrimage to attune our hearts to Emmanuel. The reality that our God is with us, even in the midst of the terrible times, enables us to live this life with supernatural hope and peace.
Lord Jesus, pour out Your Spirit on our Advent worship and spiritual disciplines. Thank You for the now of Your presence; grant us Your mighty, untapped treasures as we wait for the not yet of Your fulfilled kingdom. Use this Advent season to bring us to a more secure union in You, and create an overflow of hope and peace for our families, churches, and communities.
 Leanne Payne, Heaven’s Calling (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2008), 100-101.
Photograph: Liesel, Adventskranz [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Meditation prepared by Sarah Colyn, drawing on the writings and ministry of Leanne Payne.