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Prayer Meeting - December 19, 2018

"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness." 1 Timothy 3:16

The doctrine of the Incarnation presents a gospel mystery, if possible, more
astonishing than that of the Trinity. We can more easily understand that there
should be three people in a unity of subsistence, than that God should be
manifested in the flesh. The analogy of the one meets us everywhere; turn we
the eye within ourselves, or turn we it without upon the broad expanse of
God's creation—from every point of observation, a trinity of existence bursts
upon our view. But, of the other, in vain we search for anything approaching
to resemblance. It was a thing so unheard of and so strange, so marvelous
and so unique—that there was nothing in the sublime or the rude, in the bold
or the tender, of nature's varied works, to prepare the mind for, or awaken the
expectation of, a phenomenon so strange, so stupendous, and so mysterious.
Not that the possibility of such an event astonishes us. With Jehovah all
things are possible. "Is anything too hard for Me?"

But we marvel at the fact itself. Its stupendousness amazes us—its
condescension humbles us—its glory dazzles us—its tenderness subdues
us—its love overpowers us. That the uncreated Son of God should become
the created Son of man—that the Eternal Word should be made flesh and
dwell with men—that He should assume a new title, entwining in the awful
letters that compose His divine name, others denoting His inferior nature as
man, so revealing Himself as Jehovah-Jesus! Oh wonder, surpassing
thought! Before this, how are all others infinitely outshone; their luster fading
away and disappearing, as stars before the advancing light.

The mystical union of Christ and His church is also declared to be one of the
mysteries of the gospel. "This is a great mystery;" says the apostle, "but I
speak concerning Christ and His church." That Christ and His people should
be one—one as the head and the body—the vine and the branch—the
foundation and the house—is indeed a wondrous truth. We cannot
understand how it is; and yet so many, palpable, and gracious are the
blessings flowing from it, we dare not reject it. All that a believer is, as a living
soul, he is from a vital union with Christ. As the body without the soul is dead,
so is a sinner morally dead without union to Jesus. Not only His life, but his
fruitfulness is derived from this source. All the "beauties of holiness" that
adorn his character, spring from the vital principle which his engrafting into
Christ produces. He is skillful to fight, strong to overcome, patient to endure,
meek to suffer, and wise to walk, as he lives on Christ for the grace of
sanctification. "Without me you can do nothing." Is it not indeed a mystery that
I should so be one with Christ, that all that He is becomes mine, and all that I
am becomes His. His glory mine, my humiliation His; His righteousness mine,
my guilt His; His joy mine, my sorrow His. Mine His riches, His my poverty;
mine His life, His my death; mine His heaven, His my hell? The daily walk of
faith is a continuous development of the wonders of this wondrous truth. That
in traveling to Him empty, I should return from Him full. That in going to him
weak, I should come away from Him strong. That in bending my steps to Him,
in all darkness, perplexity, and grief, I should retrace them all light, and joy,
and gladness. Why marvel at this mystery of the life of faith? My oneness with
Jesus explains it. - Octavius Winslow