by David H. Kim
About David: David is the Executive Director of the Center for Faith & Work (CFW) and Pastor of Faith and Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. Prior to joining CFW in 2007, David was a Chaplain at Princeton University, where he also served as the Executive Director of Manna Christian Fellowship. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, his M.Div. from Westminster Seminary, his Th.M. from Princeton Seminary, and is currently a D.Min. candidate at Fuller Seminary. He and his wife, Jane, are expecting their first child in January and live near Bryant Park. For more about CFW, see here.
Intimacy: “Father, the time has come” . In John 17 , John gives us a rare window into Jesus’s own relationship with his Father. Like a little boy with unmitigated admiration of his father, Jesus delights in his Father and yearns to be with him. There is a profound bond between them that we can never fully comprehend, but we can begin to discern its depth through the obedience of Christ in sacrificing this intimacy.
Sacrifice: “Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began” . Here, Jesus revealed something that we may have overlooked during Advent. As we celebrated the birth of Christ , we may have overlooked that Jesus’s incarnation meant a forfeiture of his glory. Jesus yearned to be reunited with the fullness of the glory that he once shared with the Father. It is hard enough for us to give up small inconveniences, but what would motivate someone to give up the fullness of his own glory?
Glory: “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” . Jesus’s love of the Father’s glory was his motivation to sacrifice his glory. He was willing to give up his own glory so that he could glorify his Father by completing the work that was set before him. Jesus suffered in his birth and death so that we might know the Father and the Son and share in their glory! What brings the Father glory is when redeemed sinners are brought into the very glory shared between the Father and the Son. There is no other way to respond than with worship, admiration and gratitude for who God is and what he has done. As John exclaimed, “Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us. That we should be called Sons of God!” .
Prayer: Father, We are moved when we see the intimacy, sacrifice and glory of your Son! The purity of his desires and the fortitude of his resolve to bring you glory expose our tainted motives and unworthiness. Yet you do not reveal this prayer to condemn us, but to welcome us into your fellowship. As we reflect upon this year, let our deepest yearnings be for you and the glory of that is rightly due to you–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.