As in past years, members of the Newberry College community have composed devotionals for this Advent season. (For this year’s previous entries, you may look here.) Here’s mine:
Titus 2:11-14 (KJV)
11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
What does it mean to be peculiar? These days, the word isn’t particularly complimentary – it means being something that doesn’t fit in, a freak, an oddball. But it hasn’t always meant that.
The earliest uses of the word date from the fifteenth century, and there, the word is associated with being special, but special in the fact that the peculiar thing belongs to one person and only that person. To be peculiar to someone or something meant that it was uniquely linked to that person or thing.
Here, Paul tells us that Christ’s Incarnation and sacrifice are meant for the benefit of His peculiar – his special – people. And in our world, even at this time of year, the secular world that we think of as normal calls for our attention. But Paul reminds us where our focus should be – on Christ, on our lives in and for Him. Living that way may feel odd, especially if we aren’t as used to it as we should be.
But that’s okay – after a while, being peculiar can feel pretty special.
Heavenly Father, as we celebrate the gift of Your Son, please help us make our lives and selves a gift to You, exclusively and always. We ask this in the Name of Jesus, Amen.