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What does God do best? (3rd Sunday of Advent)

What does God do best?

My friend Sam Clark is a general contractor for high-end homes in Longview, Texas. He’ll have upwards of 80 different people involved in the building of a single house. “It can be a bit of a challenge to get it all together, but it is worth it,” he says, “because I employ the people in their niche – doing the things that they do BEST. Certainly, they could do a lot more on the house, but it would not be the same product. So the carpenter who roughs in the house is not the same one who puts in the trim on the cabinets. The person who digs and pours the footings is not the same one who pours the slab foundation.. Each one does the thing he does best – and the result is a beautiful home.”

So, what does GOD do best? When you think of God’s presence in your life and world – what is His niche? His specialty in terms of your life? (Obviously, God is God and does everything incredibly…)

In one lovely sentence, Isaiah gives us perhaps the most profound answer:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

“The Lord has anointed me” is all about a calling to change people’s hearts from within. That calling met its fullness in Jesus. Advent’s clear and profound message is that God’s coming among us is not in power and majesty, but in the gentleness of a baby, the humility of a mother, the lowliness of a stable, the touchable human-ness of birth. What does God do best? God’s best work is and will always be God coming among us in the person and work, the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is where God’s best work BEGAN.

The second thing God does best is sending us to proclaim good news. God, as revealed in Jesus Christ, sends us to speak and live good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty and freedom from all that would fetter us and keep our hearts small. God’s best work is commissioning us to take up the cause of those who have little or no voice. Just as God in Jesus, would become a fierce advocate for all those believed to be forgotten, so too, we are called to be that same healing, freeing presence.

And the good news about that – is that we don’t have to do it all. We simply have to do OUR PART – the thing that we do best.

  • Maybe you are the parent who is great an organizing Santa’s workshop so that kids can learn the joy of giving over the joy of receiving. Make it the best Santa’s workshop ever.
  • Maybe you are not great at conversations, but can whip up an amazing bowl of soup for a shut in – or a casserole for the homeless. Pour your love and prayers into the food you share with the hungry.
  • Maybe you just listen well. You don’t have answers, you don’t give advice, but you validate people’s struggles in a way that sets them free. Lend your ears to the brokenhearted this week.
  • Maybe you are one of those rare people who know how to mobilize people around the work of JUSTICE – of changing the laws and tax codes and structures that keep people in poverty. Use that gift to move our country just a bit closer to the kingdom of God.

My friend Sam oversees the construction of AMAZING HOMES. And he does so precisely by letting people do what they do best. GOD did what he did best in sending us his SON. And his Son did what he did best in empowering us to share his mission. Live this week with those words of the prophet Isaiah like a clarion call in YOUR heart:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

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