During the Christmas season it seems that the entire universe is called to come peer into a manger. The multitudes brush shoulders with the narrative of God made flesh, like strangers in a busy shopping centre. Both the story and the Man evoke varying responses, of course.
This Christmas, for the first time, meditating on the Incarnation evoked deep and real emotion in my heart. Praise God for His grace. This year I have encountered Jesus in the Word. The Man who I know and love was once that Babe in the manger. He is God, and He is dear to me.
I SOOOO miss the days of longue room corporate worship… craving worshipping/praying community
You Have Redeemed My Soul - by Waterdeep
This time last year I had just gotten back from America – a 6 week period in which the Lord laid a hold of my heart once again. He is so gracious. I came back so hungry for “reality”. The Lord in His kindness was drawing me to Himself – to know Him, behold Him and love Him with a greater depth of intimacy.
I remember dreading this year. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the challenge of loving Jesus in the midst of studying a post-grad degree. I remember feeling lonely and homeless – craving a spiritual community that I could identify with. Trying to reconcile the world’s definition of “success” and “wisdom” with the Lord’s perspective and feeling as though a vast gulf separated these two objectives. I remember growing weary of religious pretense and superficiality. I remember being wounded by fresh revelation of Jesus the Messiah and wanting to give my life to the calling of knowing Him more – and responding to this intimate knowledge with wholehearted love.
And here I am – a year has passed. And all I can do is thank Him, that when we are without strength – His mercy and grace upholds us.
I love the Lord’s leadership in my life. He is a good shepherd. And sure, it might be less “messy” if I could give a confident and simple answer to that familiar question that people tend to ask you when you’re graduating university – “So what are you going to do with your life?”. But the truth is, I have no idea. Yeah, I’m a soon to be qualified Primary School teacher. But really what I’m saying to God is “Here I am – I want to give you everything – send me”.
God has been knitting a tapestry of passions, burdens, interests and understandings into my life – I don’t know what the big picture is going to look like yet, but I know that He is good and that it’s going to be worth it. Worth not settling for the status quo, of not seeking a comfortable easy lifestyle, of rejecting the easy path. Sure, when I look at my peers who are getting full-time jobs, getting married, buying houses – I feel a pang of envy, even pain. But at the same time I am SO THANKFUL for the way that the Lord has kept my heart. For the gift of hunger that He has given me – hunger to eat of the Bread of Life that alone can satisfy. O let that be the testimony of my life – He is WORTHY. Even when it hurts, even when it’s lonely – His love is worth it all. And what a privilege - to love Him in the dry and hard places as well as the land of joyful abundance.
I’ve come to see that there is no (true) Christian ministry that is devoid of the life of Christ. Without abiding – genuinely, daily, fully – there is no fruit. Any attempt to “minister” minus Jesus can only result in barrenness and destruction. On a recent trip to South Africa I was confronted with my own internal bankruptcy to love God and love my neighbour. The Great Commandment and the Great Commission are impossible tasks apart from the grace that is so abundantly supplied by His indwelling Spirit. Yet why is it, that we neglect this Divine Person who dwells inside us? This beautiful Teacher – fully equipped to reveal to our hearts the knowledge of Christ and transform our stony hearts into beating flames of love?
As I embark on this next year – may my passion to minister be intimately connected to my passion to know Him and love Him. When I speak of Christ, and may I speak of Him often, may I speak as one whose affections are real and whose knowledge is intimately true. May His word be as frontlets before my eyes and signs on my doorposts; even in my mouth. And may I walk in love – as a servant. Laying down my life in love, even as I have been loved by Him.
Ready for adventure,
To illustrate my previous post…
I love the trend in “vintage-style”/”home-made” weddings that a lot of young couples are opting for these days.
just a bunch of friends and family celebrating a holy moment and declaration of love…
I love how it’s so un-pretentious. Creative. Organic. Special.
I know that its not really relevant for me right now but hey, let’s call it “social commentary.”
Just sayin’ …my fairytale wedding is NOT glitz & glam. Raw & real is more my kinda thing.
A couple from The Austin Stone explains how God is calling them to go…