Thursday December 4th- The Fifth Day of Advent

During the season of Advent, I am going to do something new on the blog. I am going to try my best to offer a daily reflection here as we journey through this season together.

For today’s reflection I would like to share one from my Uncle Jeff Tengesdal. Jeff is the senior pastor at First English Lutheran Church in Appleton, Wisconsin and shared a reflection in their 2014 Advent Devotional, “The Light Shines in the Darkness” for today. The reflection is based on Hebrews 1:1-4, and beautifully describes God’s love and grace and the depth to which both go and will go because of who God is.


Love Found a Way (by Rev. Jeff Tengesdal)

“… in these last days God has spoken to us by a Son.” – Hebrews 1:1

A story is told of a grandfather who found his grandson crying at the top of his voice in a playpen. When a little Johnnie saw his grandfather, he reached up his little hands and said, “Out, Gramp, out.” It was only natural for Gramp to want to pick up the little guy, but the boy’s mother stepped up and said, “No, Johnnie, you must stay in your playpen for awhile.”

If you are a grandpa would you join your grandkids in a playpen? If you aren't, would your grandpa have joined you?
If you are a grandpa would you join your grandkids in a playpen? If you aren’t, would your grandpa have joined you?

The grandfather was at a loss to know what to do. The child’s tears and chubby hands reached deep into his heart, but the mother’s discipline could not be taken lightly. Here was a problem of love versus law, but love found a way. The grandfather could not take the youngster out of the playpen, so he crawled in with him.

God did not spare Paul and Silas from suffering, but instead joined them in the prison. God did not keep three out of the fiery furnace, but instead climbed into the furnace with them.

God did not pluck us up from troubles and heartaches, but instead crawled into a manger. Love found a way for every situation of our lives.

“The Son is a reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being.” Hebrews 1:3

Jesus, Son of God, Son of Mary, deepen my understanding of the mystery of your incarnation. Make my heart a manger for your love. Amen.

Pastor Jeff Tengesdal


In hearing this story and reflection, here’s a question for you: when have you experienced deep love such as this? When in your life have you been down, confined to a playpen, and despite of that you were joined by love and God right there in that playpen?

Thanks again Jeff and First English Lutheran for sharing these devotions, and for being willing to let me share them here on my blog today.

Image Credit: Playpen

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