Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

Elizabeth & Mary…

(An imagining of Luke 1:39-55)

MARY

Mary woke from another sleepless night, drenched in sweat.  The memories of her visit by an messenger of Yahweh still blinded her memory with a blazing light.  What did it all mean?  She was going to be withchild, and “He will be called great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.”   The words all seemed to blur together as she pieced together those moments.  She remembers the feeling of sheer terror brought on by the Messenger, but also the feeling of wanting to stay in that moment forever.  There was pure Holiness, the likes of which she assumed were reserved only for the High Priest as he might enter the Holy of Holies.  She’d never imagined such an experience might be possible here…in her home where dust and dirt have stained the walls, and she pulls another wool blanket up to her face – smelling the animals in need of a bath nearby.

She wanted so badly to tell Joseph.  To try and make sense of it all.  But she was so afraid he would think she was crazy.  She’s seen how others have been treated.  People who lost their grip on reality.  She would be labeled “unclean”, and at worst case “possessed”, and cast out to live among those others who have made outrageous claims about experiences no one could, or would want to, ever verify.  Surely Joseph would laugh, and might even consider himself released from any commitment to marry her.  What would he really think?  Would he believe a messenger from God visited her, and told her she would give birth – as a virgin – to a child who would be called the “Son of God”??!  

The sun was just beginning to rise, and the sounds of a new day were drifting through the windows.   She was just so tired.  She wasn’t getting any sleep.  She needed to do something.  Nothing was going to make this easier, and she couldn’t keep it to herself.  Then she remembered – a caravan was leaving for Jerusalem that morning!  She had an old cousin there, a priests wife, one that the messenger of God had mentioned.  Elizabeth, Mary was pretty sure that was her name.  She remembered meeting her at least once before.   An older woman, she and her husband Zechariah were both so warm, and seemed to love gently with God’s own Love.  They had never had children before…there were all sorts of rumors as to why this might be.  But the messenger had told Mary that Elizabeth was now pregnant?  Maybe the messenger mentioned her for a reason.  She suddenly felt the urge to join this caravan in order to travel down and visit them!?

It was a 3 or 4 day journey, and they always needed extra young men and women to come along.  Young men could care for the animals, and young women could help with the food and meal times.  Her parents would surely allow her, as she was already getting close to marrying age.  She was right, and within a few hours – she was helping load the supplies and preparing for the journey.  She didn’t have time to tell Joseph, but her parents knew – they could relay the message.  She was going to check on a relative near Jerusalem, to offer sacrifices of thanks at the temple, and would be back within a week or two.  

The journey seemed to take forever.  The sun was hot, and the stench and noise of the animals being so close together made her long for quiet places.  She saw the young boys running alongside the animals, laughing and playing.  She loved watching their joy, but also loved wandering to the edge of the caravan – where she could hear her own thoughts, and see the beauty of the landscape.  She imagined what life as a mother might be like.  She imagined raising her son to embrace the quiet places as well, that way she would have someone nearby.  But then she shook her head, laughing at herself.  Of course, she had no idea what motherhood would be like – from what the Angel had said – this was no ordinary child.  Could this really be?  She was going to help bring the Messiah into the world – the one who would establish the Kingdom of God?  As she had these thoughts, the men of the caravan shouted and everyone left the road, pausing while a group of Roman soldiers and officials passed by.  Was God really going to bring freedom from the Empire…through her child???

After a few days journeying south together, they finally approached Jerusalem.  Her relatives lived just south west of the city, so as the caravan slowed – Mary found a group traveling on, and joined them to go a bit further.  As they approached Ein Kerem, she found herself heading toward the well.  She needed a drink, and it would be the perfect place to find someone who might know where Elizabeth and Zechariah lived.  

 

ELIZABETH

Elizabeth sat in the silence of another slow morning.  Waiting to see what would happen with her day. Waiting.  That’s all life felt like anymore.  Always waiting to see what was going to happen, and so far – it didn’t seem like much.  As her hand rested on her belly, she smiled. At least now, she could see and feel evidence of the incredible promise they’d received by an Angel over 6 months ago.  She sighed, as she remembered those moments.  She’d been so worried when Zechariah first came home from what was a proud moment.  He’d been chosen by lot, to actually enter the sanctuary of the Lord to offer incense.  A priest usually was only able to do this once, so she knew her husband was soaking in each aspect of the moment slowly.  But when he came home that day, his eyes were filled with tears.  She couldn’t even ask what was wrong, before he rushed over to her, and drew her close as he sobbed.  She remembered her heart sinking in that moment. What had happened?  What had Zechariah done? What had gone wrong?  She smiled, as memories are always funnier after time passes.  Those moments of her husband trying to communicate with gestures.  He touched her mid-section, and a giant smile broke through his tears.  He pointed at her, and without words he tried so hard to communicate.  He stuffed a small pillow up his own tunic, and pretended to be withchild, and pointed at her.  He made grand gestures, and wrote the word “Messenger of God” on a small piece of parchment.  

 

It took a long time of back and forth that night, but she finally realized her husband’s voice had been quieted by God’s messenger, because Zechariah had failed to believe the message that was given.  Elizabeth was going to bear a son….a child….she was going to be a mother – something she’d given up on many years ago.  Not only a son, but a son filled with the Holy Spirit in the same way as Elijah, who would help prepare people for the Lord.  So much excitement, and she didn’t dare doubt – as she’d seen what such doubt had accomplished in her husband.   She smiled as she remembered the excitement, but then her eyes began to water as she remembered the pain of trying to tell others.  No one seemed to believe.  There was talk about Zechariah trying to stir up something to distract people from the temple.  They were glad Zechariah was finally able to offer incense, but didn’t want to hear anything about God promising an old woman a child.  She couldn’t understand.  All of these people who were supposed to be her friends.  Her loving community.  She decided it would be easier to stay inside. She was so hurt, that even when her pregnancy began to show, she continued to live silently – staying indoors and away from others.  She felt set free from any worry about what other people thought.  She could sense the life growing inside her, and knew she was valuable to Yahweh – offering all she could toward what He had in store.  Others would eventually celebrate, she knew this.  But for now, she wanted to sit quietly, intimately seeking the Lord  in whom she had found favor.  Zechariah would still go to the temple on most days.  They’d let him come around, but she sensed by his spirit each evening, it just wasn’t the same.  He couldn’t fully participate, and join the prayers and the psalms, as his voice was no longer with him.  The house was quiet, and filled with expectation.  But after a few months, it seemed just mostly quiet.  

So it was, 6 months into her pregnancy, that she sensed a stirring.  She was restless and so, it seemed, was the life inside her.  She heard the sound of travelers outside her window, and looked out to  watch the people for a bit.  That’s when she heard the sound of a young woman, “Cousin?  Elizabeth?”  The voice sounded to be coming closer, and her baby seemed to jump at the sound, so much that it startled her.  That sounded like…..she rounded the corner and sure enough she was filled with warmth and excitement – Mary was here!  

But there was more than warmth and excitement.  As time seemed to slow down, she was filled with understanding and felt like she could see through into the reality from which all things exist.  She was filled with the glory of God as she looked on her young cousin, and sensed a holiness growing within this girl that was the Son of God.  This was it.  This was the purpose her own son was growing to prepare the way for.  She didn’t know how all of this came to her, but at once she was overwhelmed with the Love of God.  She was swallowed up by the mystery of this moment, the Truth that seemed so filled with love – it became all too much for her to handle.  The Love of God – revealed in His action of becoming an infant.  All the holiness of God – touching humanity like never before….and all happening here, through her cousin Mary…she cried out, “

 

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?  For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.  And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

 

She looked deep into Mary’s eyes, and saw herself.  She saw an expectant mother, who had no reason but faith – to believe what God had declared would happen.  She held Mary close in greeting, tears welling up in her eyes.  Here is someone who understands.  Here is someone who has believed, and God is doing something New as we offer Him ourselves.   She began to relax her grip on Mary, and her young cousin stepped back.

 

MARY

Mary took a deep breath, as she received the blessing that was just spoken over her.  How did Elizabeth know??  She wiped her own tears away, as she felt completely undone.  Here was a God who not only knew her deeply, but invited them both into depths of loving relationship she never knew possible.  There was no reason to pretend here, in His presence. There was no reason to wonder.  In this moment, she felt like she could finally process the truth that had been spoken over her by the Messenger.  The Holiness of God would be born through her as a child who would be King on the throne of David, to reign over the house of Jacob forever.  It didn’t make sense, but it didn’t need to. It was true.  The Son of God, the true King would come as an infant – and boy would that surprise the Emperor, and even the priests.  This was the kind of thing her people had whispered about for years, always praying and believing that one day – it might happen.  The loving kindness of God proclaimed by her ancestors, was doing something new – and changing everything.  As the truth of this sank deep into her bones, she realized this was not just going to transform her life…it really would transform everything…she wept as she began to sing a new song…

 

And Mary said, 

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.  His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.  He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.  He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

 

As they embraced again, and spent the entire afternoon sharing all that was on their hearts, the home was once again filled with expectation.  As hours turned to days, Mary loved the time they spent together.  Here was someone who understood.  Here was someone who had already endured the responses of others. Here was someone who was willing to serve God – no matter what the cost, and no matter how it changed her life forever.  Days turned into weeks, and 3 months later – as Elizabeth was about to give birth, Mary knew it was time for her to head home.  Even though she’d sent word home with other travelers, she knew her parents would be concerned.  Joseph must be wondering by now too.  She still wasn’t sure how to tell him about this child, but she wouldn’t be able to hide it for much longer.  She was beginning to show, and these 3 months with Elizabeth had filled her with such hope and excitement for being right in the middle of what God was doing.  The faithfulness and love of God was being revealed through these moments – and she was overwhelmed with Joy, and humbled to be a part of it all.  She prayed as the caravan set out for Nazareth – “Lord…prepare Joseph for what is about to happen.  As you have spoken to my heart, speak also to his.  Not only his, but our whole community and all of your people.  Prepare hearts, and invite others to be aware of what you are doing.  You, Lord, deserve so much worship and adoration.”  Her heart began to race, as she was unsure where to direct her words and thoughts.  Should she turn toward Jerusalem, or should she whisper to the Holiness of God that was stirring within her?  She wrapped her arms gently around herself, keeping warm in the cool morning, and simply whispered… “Thank you, Lord.”

 

We join with Mary this morning in whispering, “Thank you, Lord.”

 

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One Year.

One year ago I was on my way to the D6 Conference in Texas, along with our new lead pastor and another pastor friend we picked up along the way.  I was attending the conference both as a “Pastor of Family Life”, but also as an intensive study course personally administered by the president of Wesley Seminary toward completion of my MDiv.  It was a great week of learning, dreaming and praying over what God had in store for a church family I loved with a new pastor I was blessed to also call a friend.  I ended up being able to share a spoken word I’d written as part of my coursework with the entire D6 Conference!  As we went home from that week – we had no idea what would happen in the year ahead.  We certainly didn’t imagine the year we’ve had. 🙂

This year we’re traveling to the D6 Conference in North Carolina, along with our spouses.  The four of us look forward to some great time praying and casting vision over what God has in store for this church family that we love – and we’re blessed to img_8338all do so as friends.  But my wife and I are also attending as a couple on the edge of launching into full-time missionary work in Gyor, Hungary!  We’re scanning the topics, and trying to figure out what seminars/speakers might equip us for the work on the horizon as well as the work we’re aiming to finish well.

This past year I’ve finished my MDiv, something I never thought was part of my life plan.  It seems when you hand God your life and ask Him one step at a time “What would please you here?” – He actually seems to suggest things you may not have imagined.  Not in an anxious “Oh my goodness, I’d better not miss out on any tiny decision that God may have an opinion on….”  But more in a mode of living toward receiving and responding to the flowing Love of God out into and for the sake of His Kingdom announced and arriving in the world through changed lives, people set free and restored relationship.

All this to say, the past year has brought some changes for sure.  The year ahead seems to be filled with quite a bit as well.  We’re going to be selling our home soon, and moving into a short-term rental.  Then we’ll move to Hungary, and learn a new language both literally and figuratively as we learn to join the living Word in a new context.  Thankfully, we’ve been shaped for years already by the Word who became flesh.  So #D62018, 2019, and beyond…here we come…

(If you haven’t already, check out our website for the family missionary adventure that has already begun!!)

 

He “lives”?

“..songs affect what we think because of repetition – singing the same songs over a period of years embeds the message; and when music is added to the text, an emotional element is introduced that causes greater attachment to the message of the song.” (Constance Cherry, The Worship Architect, 2010)helives

The above statement carries all sorts of implications for the music we listen to, the music we encourage our kids to listen to, etc.  But here we are asking about the words that shape our theology and faith over time.  Modern songs get a pretty hefty (and often deserved) criticism at times for their vague or shallow theology.  But there are plenty of songs (I’m looking at you, “I’ll Fly Away”) that we love to sing, that we should also be careful to examine/balance with Biblical teaching/awareness.

Today I’m asking us to re-examine the words of a song most of us probably sang over the weekend.  “He Lives” (#220 if you’d rather not use the screen), is a classic hymn with some great reminders in it.  “I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today.”  What a hope-filled offer for us to live toward!  But on further review of the entire song, there’s something significant missing from it: a resurrected Jesus.

Let’s pretend you don’t have it memorized for a moment, and examine the chorus:

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today,
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

Yes! Amen.  I love it.  I sing it loudly, and I even hold out the final “LIIIIIIIIVES” until the lack of breath begins to turn my lungs inside out.  Yet the Jesus in this song is not the physically resurrected Jesus we celebrate visiting His disciples and revealing His scars.  I’m not saying Jesus couldn’t visit us physically, either recognizably or hiding his identity (both are seen in post-resurrection accounts).  But I’m saying when most of us sing this chorus (and the rest of the song), we’re probably actually referring to the SPIRIT of Jesus at best…and the idea of Jesus at worst.

Yes, I believe the “presence” of Jesus we have been given through the Holy Spirit, and a God who is omnipresent/immanuel is “God With Us”.   That means so much of the song still rings true.  But if we lift this song up as our primary “Easter Song”, we can miss something vital to our faith:

We believe Jesus was physically resurrected ahead of all things.  That all humanity who have died or will die, continue to wait for a full and coming revealing of God’s fullness at which point we will all share in the same physical and bodily resurrection.

He does not “walk with me and talk with me” the same way He walked and talked with the disciples who saw him after the resurrection. Why? Because he has physically gone to be with the Father, to a location many simply refer to as “Paradise” (using Luke 23:43).  A place where it seems both non-resurrected beings (like the thief), and resurrected beings (only Jesus, for now) can be together in God’s presence as we await the final return of Jesus.

The promise and hope of the resurrection isn’t that Jesus has returned spiritually to “be in our hearts”, and help us not feel lonely along the paths we walk.  That’s one of the blessings of the encourager He has given us (Holy Spirit).  But the promise and hope we receive as we celebrate the resurrected Jesus are found in 1 Corinthians 15 (take a moment to read it!).  In Jesus we see the “first fruits” of all New Creation, and an example of what God has in store for all of us – our loved ones, and creation itself!

This is a foundational truth, and one of the greatest things we can clarify to a world that assumes we all think Jesus is a spiritual being hiding in our hearts that helps us to be “good behaving people”.  The Holy Spirit can help transform our hearts and minds, and the grace of God is actively moving to heal/restore the image of our Loving God He intended in creation.   But we believe there is much more to celebrate in Jesus, and much more hope for the embodied lives we live today.  These physical bodies (and this physical world) are tied deeply to the New Creation we believe will exist fully someday.  So caring for others, for creation, and for ourselves happens in fully embodied ways.  There are so many things still to say here, but plenty have already said them.  I just wanted to throw out a quick reminder.

For more on this, check out: Surprised by Hope by NT Wright, Salvation Means Creation Healed by Howard Snyder, and Earthen Vessels Matthew Anderson

it (still) exists.

There is an unseen cancer, and with plenty of time to roam
It’s fused itself into bone, not simply in homes but in the structures of our own
Zones divided by race and income are just the surface, and should make us nervous
That maybe we’re not as developed as we thought.
But don’t get caught up thinking we’re held down, instead look around
An honest bit of self aware, will beat the kick and snare to drive this rhythm into
A better tomorrow, though it is not yet ours to borrow.

Because sorrow and tears filled years of history,
it’s no mystery that the health and wealth
Of so many including myself are not the same enjoyed by all,
even though all have sinned
It seems opportunities for redemption have thinned if you live downwind
or have the wrong type of skin,
and no one wins when race sets the pace for how much grace
One is allowed. And so, lifting heads bowed,
or coming down from the clouds of denial
we can confess that even if we didn’t make the mess,
it’s ours to offer healing.
There is no sealing off the past
In Ziploc bags and counting them as waste,
no hasty retreat from the racism our feet were born standing upon,
it’s one thing to recognize it’s wrong, and another to want it gone,
and still another take action,
gaining traction as one hand joins another,
sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers,
Pulling back the covers of injustice and schisms,
including all the -isms we’ve been sold as healthy rhythms.
Racism – not just blacks and whites, but a systematic fight for the right to thrive,
and we agree that all lives matter, but to scatter our attention with such chatter
is to lose sight of a brighter light
One that shines on both sides of the tracks, and the fact remains that no matter how much we strain
to prove we treat all men the same, the game hasn’t changed – just the rules,
and fools can see the tools are made for certain hands,
and so we stand and ask for something new.

We move from I believe, to I do.

And the shoes we’re wearing are better suited for old paths,
so in this aftermath we may be asked to walk barefoot as we discover
just what it feels like to press skin to such a ground as we found
we’ve been surrounded by this entire time. It’s a higher climb than we may have thought,
but the fight has already been fought by plenty who came before,
and to ignore their words would be an absurd mistake of the grandiose,
to come so close and look away would be to play dress up,
but our grandchildren ask us not to mess up, they need more than this.
They ask us not to miss a chance to plant seeds,
and dance swiftly toward a healing that must come, and can not from legislation alone,
but starts in our home, as we reach out of comfort zones
to share in the cares of those we were previously unaware.

As we stare deep into our own cares and desires,
we continue to light the fires of selfish ambition that we’ve been wishing
our nation would be rid of once and for all. So we answer the call,
and look up from our own cup, striking up conversation and demonstration
that goes further than the greed of immediate need, but plants seeds for a new tomorrow.
The sorrow of a trampled population set free by compassion of a New Nation,
not simply elation but a joy built on solid Hope
that when we’re at the end of our rope – we are not alone.
We’ve been shown a better way, and offered a brighter day.
It’s not somewhere floating in outer space, it’s right in front of us, and labeled as race.

We may not know exactly how to remove the cyst,
But we know the first step is to admit it exists. Relaxing clenched fists, to open palms
Reminded by the Psalms of a deeper scene,
And pointed there again by a man who had a dream…

for the love of donuts.

Paul writes in his letter to the early church in Rome, “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race” (9:3)  This was mentioned in class today, in example of just how important it was to expand and increase the knowledge of the Love of God in the communities we love.   “I donutsdon’t think I’ve ever loved a church I’ve served that much!”, was said with a smile to many nods in the crowd.  As much as I’ve loved the Church, and the church I’ve served at – I don’t think I would ever elevate them above my love for Jesus.  I don’t think Paul was either, but was rather making an emotional appeal to explain just how passionate he was to see his fellow countrymen knowing the Love of God.

But being in “Church History” lectures all of this week, I can’t help but think about the history of God’s people seeming to put other seemingly good things ahead of the Love of Jesus throughout thousands of years.

Each time I’ve driven between my hotel and seminary, I’ve noticed new things like a kid who is somewhere they’ve never been before.  I’ve driven past a large national cemetery, with it’s rows of white grave markers.  I’ve driven past a large Finnish paper products plant, that I should probably purchase stock in for the sake of my family’s use of paper plates.  But two places I’ve noticed on each drive seem to stand out in their contrast and commonality with one another:  A small local donut shop that closes when they sell out late each morning, and a large commercial bakery with loading docks and trucks lined up to a giant warehouse building.

Both of these endeavors could be labeled “successful”. It would seem silly for someone to approach the small local shop and prod them:  “Don’t you care about sharing donut goodness?”  “Don’t you want the masses to enjoy the same donuts you’ve enjoyed?”  “See the bakery down the street?  Surely they have a truer passion for donuts!”

Yet so often throughout history this same mentality has crept into the church.  We take the “Great Commission” not as a direction to live and love, but as a mandate to succeed at with all the resources and power we can amass.  So we divide and conquer.  We establish.  We claim.  We protect.  All in the name of a Jesus who came to die.  To give away.  To release.  To submit to the will of the Father.

Yes – I love Jesus. Yes, I want the people in the community I love to know the freedom and New Life offered in receiving His Love and Hope by Faith.  It has transformed my life, and continues to even as I don’t deserve it.  I’m sure the giant bakery I drive by is run by great people who truly love their baked goods.  But I suppose what I’m saying is – it’s really good for us to remember our love for Jesus above our love for everything – even the church.  That may lead to heresy.  But it might just lead to some amazing donuts as well…

..and what might happen if, the church continued to be filled with and sending out people of all ages and every background who were passionate in sharing their love of donuts?  We may not even need the trucks. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Political Climate

As we walk forward, toward the unknown we begin to roam in new altitudes,

and attitudes mixed with platitudes have begun to make it hard to breathe

the hot air just a little too thin, sunlight begins to dim and I realize

I’m in flip flops stopped at the bottom rock looking at the top of a mountain I’m unprepared to climb.

And I’m here today to say, I think that’s okay.

Because this is Mount Political Climate.

You may have noticed a slight decrease in temperature because it’s cold

A system way too old for anyone to question, we’ve steam-rolled the bold ways of discovery

And fell deep into the well of “this is how it’s been done”, and the sun continued to rise

so our decision must be wise. We disguise the misguided attempts at others to deconstruct

Those who might call it corrupt, because they’re simply outsiders, underperformers,

Unprepared misfits who couldn’t handle the climb

But it’s time those of us not clinging to the ledges to look up

And realize what we seek, might just not be the peak

Of Mount Political Climate.  Refuse to Climb it.  Walk Around.

Walk Around.

The sounds should astound us at first, like a thirst that’s unquenchable

Things unmentionable aired out for public consumption, because that shows gumption

Whatever that is.

And the fad is growing to start showing your opponents weaknesses before they get a chance

To show you with your pants down.  The town meeting ignores the fact that

you’re running to be a leader,
Because deep down, they’d rather be amused.

A in the negative, Muse meaning to think, we are a people not thinking

While our patterns go on stinking and bringing about change in ways

we never would’ve chosen On purpose

Getting nervous as we’ve only scratched the surface

The fact is, we deserve this type of leadership, because it’s only a megacosm

Of the micro we live every day

As we live to get paid, and sway situations to shine the sun on our day

I wanna get mine and protect it, and keep others out so they can’t infect it, but don’t try to inspect it,

because – like I told you, it’s mine.

My Mountain of Political Climate.  Refuse to Climb it. Walk Around.

Walk Around.

And so we’ve found that sounding an alarm might just do some good

And it could shake you and I away from what would, toward what should happen, as we’re mapping new routes

As we refuse to climb the foodholds set before us, though others may ignore us, or abhore us,

Our voices join in one chorus,

That healing won’t come by name calling, health is not built by a wall, and one sure way for us all to fall is to try and stand so tall everyone else seems small.

The ball is in our courts, to call our courts to once again view the human in their being.

To start seeing names instead of numbers, to welcome new comers to the table, and perhaps rising above all political noise, is the silent necessity of, Love.

The hidden wealth of nations is not found in vaults, or in banks.

That Power is not found in muscles, missiles and tanks.

That Happiness not found in tickets to Disney and apple pie.

We must go beyond a simple cry for change, and embody what we hope

Facing the ends of our rope, we come together, tethered to something greater than ourselves

Dusting off the shelves of a room we knew well when we were young

Before we became so high strung, and the songs we sung were a lot more inspiring

Not conspiring for one to rise, but to ignore such lies and seek the good of all.

Because, humanity, united we stand, and divided we will fall.

But it’s a Mountain, this Political Climate.  Refuse to Climb It.  Walk Around.

language of (new) creation…

Anyone who has spent time in a land where a different language is spoken knows just how much it can impact your daily existence – even in small ways that add up.  It made me think about something bigger…

There is an ancient language, that has always existed.  Long before we could measure time itself, this language brought order to chaos and spoke form to formless.  The language was shared by both creator and creation, but it didn’t take long before the language was forgotten by those created to speak it into and over creation.

It was the language of love.  The language of life.  The language of new.

The language of God.

The brokenness in what was intended to be natural communication caused pain.  A father whose children no longer knew what it meant that they were loved infinitely and intimately.  These children pursued other sources of identity and value.  So He “called out” a people and enabled them to speak this language with Him.  It was meant to be a living illustration for all peoples, of what life could be like with these new ancient linguistic capabilities.  Finally, the world was ready, and He came down to tear down the walls of silence separating those who could not speak or hear.

The Word was for all.  Some chose to listen, and not speak.  Some chose to speak, and not listen.  Some misunderstood, for the words they heard were not the ancient Word, but merely poor imitations of those who’d grown able to repeat what they’d heard, but had no idea how such grammar functioned.

Yet God continued to hear and speak, and this ancient language was changing lives and bringing redemption to brokenness, light to darkness, love to emptiness, and hope to hopeless.  It is the whisper of a space and time where such language will be the ONLY language spoken by all.  Many have heard the proclamation that such a time has arrived even now, and have begun to speak that way.

But such language was foreign to the self-centered dialects that had been established over time.  As the people aware of this ancient tongue go out speaking the language of New Creation, they grow tired of the constant need for translation and surroundings that don’t seem to understand.  So regularly, these New Creation citizens gather together for encouragement.  They celebrate by joining as one voice and hearing from God, and go out with a renewed commitment to help others recover the language they were born to speak.

Unfortunately, some have allowed such gathering to become the purpose and goal of the language.  We are reminded that the purpose of language is to be spoken.  The purpose of this ancient transforming love and life-giving language is that it would be heard and spoken by all.  It is the language of New Creation.  The language that will transform your home, your community, and our world.  The language of Love found in the life and Words of Jesus Christ.

These words may not always make sense to the language our world has learned to speak.  These words may look foolish.  But they are Love, in ways our creation was made to receive ages ago…and will one day again fully.

Will you hear the Father’s love today?  Will you speak? Will you join with others who need the encouragement of your presence in such endeavors?  You are invited…

 

 

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