John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Advent Reader -- Day 1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning -- the sixth day. (Genesis 1:1, 26-28, 31)

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)

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The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rules or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him. (Colossians 1:15-19)

For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

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It's Christmastime, and the whole world seems to be focused on a baby. But, as difficult as this may be to fathom, let us not forget that this baby was present long before his birth on this earth. Nothing was created without him, not anything in the heavens above, not anything on the earth below, and certainly not us. He created everything, and he maintains everything, with no assistance from us necessary.

Needless to say, this is no ordinary baby!

In that tiny body lurks more power than the universe can hold. The secrets of time and space and eternity are found in this One.

The cosmic reality is that the One who was the baby in the manger is also our Creator, our Sustainer, the One whose image we bear. He is always and has always been first, and it is only in him that we find our true dignity as people and come to see the extensive authority with which he has entrusted us.

He is the author and finisher of our faith, the One who will remain faithful even when we are faithless. He is the "thrill of hope" that has come and because of which a "weary world rejoices." His entrance into our world means nothing less than that we, too, can become all that God intended for us when he created us, that we may become more and more like his Son, who is "the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being."

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Thank you, sovereign and infinite Creator, for this day of beginnings. Thank you for making us in your glorious image, for honoring us with dignity and purpose and for revealing your power and might in such a humble and approachable way. We praise you for giving us the stillness that comes in a season of remembering who you truly are and how you have drawn near to us. You have granted to us the privilege of honoring you first in everything we think, feel and do. Give us wisdom to know how to show forth your image beautifully and creatively and in a way that honors the Son you sent to us. We will rejoice in this season of remembering knowing that everything you have ever given and done is always not simply good but very good. It is in that Son's name we pray. Amen.