This excerpt from Advent: Allowing Christ to Rest in Us by the Carmelite Sisters was a part of our morning liturgy today. Consider the embodiment of Christ in Mary and inyou as you meditate on this piece:
The one thing that God did ask of Mary was the gift of her humanity. God asked her to give him her body and soul unconditionally and to give him her daily life. Outwardly her life would not differ from the life she would have led if she had not been chosen to be the Bride of the Spirit and the Mother of God.
During Advent Christ rested in Mary – still, silent, helpless, and utterly dependent. In Jesus, the Creator trusted himself to his very own creature. He trusted to her what was most important to him – the expression of his love for the Father. He was mute: her voice was his voice. He was still: her footsteps were his journeys. He was blind: her eyes were his seeing. His hands were folded: her hands did the work of his hands. His life was her life. His heartbeat was the beating of her heart.
This is how Christ came in history. It is the same today as he comes to each one of us. For as surely as he rested in Mary, so he rests in you and in me. From the moment when the Christ-life is conceived in us, our life is intended for one thing – the expression of his love – his love for God and for the world.
Our words are to be the words that he wants to speak. We must go wherever he wants to go. And we must look at whatever he wants to see. Our life must be the living of his life, our love the very loving of his heart.
And the Word became flesh and blood and made his home with us.
How does Christ live, move, see and love through you?
Merry CHRISTmas, Jody
(C) 2022, Jody Thomae
Jody Thomae has been involved in worship arts ministry since 1997 and has authored several Bible studies designed to nurture the creative spirit within. She performs, teaches and leads workshops and retreats connecting creativity, embodiment and spirituality. As an ordained minister, her passion is for the revelation of God to be made more real through the prophetic use of the arts in church and formational ministry. It is her desire to portray the message of Christ’s desperate and unfailing love for His people to help sustain the hearts of the broken and weary. She is particularly interested in the way in which God uses the arts to bring formational development and healing to His people. Her books can be found on Amazon.
I suppose you should never give away the ending to your book, but here I am, doing it anyway. I’ve never been one to stay contained by the world’s boxes.
The excerpt below includes In the Cave, a story of Mama Bear and her Cub that both opens and closes my newly released book, The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautiful. Based on the Legend of the Snowdrops, it is a story of redemption and new life based on the battle won on the cross of Jesus and the “battle to end all battles” found in Revelation 19-21:
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army.But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Have you ever heard the term “life scriptures” or “life verse” and wondered exactly what it meant? You might have thought the obvious: they are scriptures for life, and that is indeed true! And yet, they can mean something much deeper.
Throughout my journey on this thing called life, certain scriptures have beckoned me to journey more deeply. In the midst of the storm, scriptures would speak clearly above the crashing thunder and bring peace and assurance. In the lulling comfort of seasons of blessings, other scriptures would help me recognize those blessings and get me on my feet to praise the source. In the darkest valleys, his Word would reassure me of His presence even though I could not see. Over and over, in every season of life, God used HIS WORDS, found in scripture, to speak into my life and the situations I faced. He’s so good!
But there’s more to a “life scripture”. . .
See, there are other scriptures that speak to a place so deep within your soul that you know that you know that you know those verses were meant to carry you and guide you through all seasons. These are verses that define you—or rather, God uses to define you and your relationship with him.
My friend Merri (great name, right?) sent me this captioned photo the other day. It got me giggling… smiling… and then thinking…
The ladies in the front row caught my eyes first—their skirts a-billowing and laughter erupting! They are caught by surprise by the rushing wind, giving them a joyful thrill. One lady has ahold of her hat and if you look closely, the other has hers tucked between her knees. And, oh my! There might be a girdle or two showing. But they are happy, oh so happy!
Around the time my best friend Lynn died from an unexpected and very aggressive form of cancer, I opened my fortune cookie to find this inside:
“Faith is knowing there is an ocean when you can only see the stream.”
At this juncture in my life I could only see the stream, and it was very small, merely a trickle. There was certainly no ocean in sight. Kim (our other best friend) and I had just returned from a grueling trip to the National Institutes of Health where we had been punched in the face with the words, “There is nothing else we can do,” and had worked with her father to get her Angel Flighted home so she could pass her final days surrounded by her loved ones. Yes, I did know there was an ocean, but it was far, far away, and the stream I saw was oh so small.