Sunday, March 24, 2013

The One Who Comes 12.1.2012

It is Christmas time, and the story of Christ's arrival is still new as it is lived out in my heart..
(Luke 2 from The Message)
There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

Those who were despised and rejected were visited by messengers of the Almighty God, the God who chooses the weak and despised vessels through which to display His glory. And I have seen that in my life...

It was pride, pure and simple. Smugness.
We were headed to the holiday parade, and my boys had nice jackets to wear. Modern jackets. They looked trendy. We would present well.
Home from the parade, two days pass...and Colson's coat is missing. His nice, modern, trendy coat. I am left with a coat for him that is too big, zipper broken, inside fleece missing (it was like that when I got it at the yardsale...).
And I was broken. The fleeting sense of control, of presenting well, was gone, and I was once again simply someone who couldn't quite get it all together. I knew, as I wrestled Colson into the coat he knew wasn't his, that I was coming face to face with my broken, bleeding heart. Please like me. Please tell me I am good enough. Please let me measure up to your standard.
I knew, as soon as the coat was gone, that God, in His infinite kindness, wanted more for me. More than flimsy platforms of pride supporting me. More than a heart that was searching for significance in a world that could offer nothing that truly lasts.
God wants me to see my identity comes from Him, from the One who created me, who formed me in my mother's womb, who rejoices over me with singing. My identity comes from Christ, who took my place on the cross. My identity comes as I rest in the love that is infinitely deep and wide, and nothing can separate me from this love.
When my house is cluttered, my clothes remnants of a fashion long since past, when my best doesn't feel like it is good gaze now turns to the face of the One Who Loves Me Best...and like the shepherds on a hillside long ago, in that moment I encounter the Saviour who visits those who do not deserve His coming.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!

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