As we enter the Advent season, we will all be rightly focused on the incarnation. But over the next four weeks, I’d like us to look at not just the first advent, but at four separate appearances of our Lord—specifically, Jesus’s coming as creator, carpenter, gardener, and king. My prayer is that a deeper appreciation for each of these appearances will have a profound impact on the work we do each day.

Creator, Carpenter, Gardener, King

Devotional 1 of 4
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 rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:15-16)
Let us begin by meditating on Jesus’s first appearance to humankind at the very beginning of time.

Today’s passage makes clear that Jesus—along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit—was present at the creation of the world. Furthermore, “all things” were created through Christ. In other words, Jesus is the Creator God we read about in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created.”

Before God tells us he is love, before he tells us he is holy, before he tells us he is Savior, God wants you and I to know that he is a creative, productive, working God.

As I’ve written about before, this idea of a God who works is unique in the long list of stories of the origin of the world. Every other religion claims that the gods created human beings to work and serve the gods. None would dare to say that God himself works—much less introduce that fact in the first breath of the story.

This truth carries the utmost significance for the work we do today. Work is not a fringe thing or a meaningless means to an end. Work is central to who God is, and thus, central to who we are as his image bearers. That’s one of the great meanings of the first revelation of Jesus Christ.

And it’s not just any work that God does. It’s creative work—the work of taking risks to create new things for the good of others. It’s the work of entrepreneurs and artists, storytellers and sales executives, marketers and mothers. And as we will see next week, it’s the type of work Jesus did at his second appearing as he was born into the home of a carpenter.

Jordan Raynor
Author, Called to Create
The Characters of Christmas is terrific, and I can’t think of a more appropriate book for you to pick up as we begin this Christmas-themed series. This book is making me fall in love with the Christmas story again, which is (somewhat shamefully) hard to do given its familiarity. To accomplish this, the author helps you see Christmas through the lens of some of its minor characters, including Zechariah and Elizabeth, the Shepherds, and Herod. Click here to learn more about the book or to pick up your own copy!
This week on The Call to Mastery, I sit down down with my good friend Krystal Whitten, Creator of The Lettering Prayer Journal, to discuss best-practices on “batch creating” content, how to master the art of the graceful “no,” and the good that has come from Krystal’s children watching both of their parents work outside the home. Listen now on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or

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