All posts tagged: redemption

The Advent Fulfilled: The Beginning of the All People Society, of which I am a member

LUKE 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. All people. The angel said it. The singular message of the annunciation of Jesus is inclusive: for all people. We tend run ruts and circles and see the same people, the same circumstances, the same economic strata, day after day after year. This isn’t a bad thing, because we are to live the life we’ve been given, in the place where we live, but it can be to our detriment that we fail to see the infinite possibility of these two words: all people. These three syllables are vast as the ocean and harder to explore, define and understand than space. All those people, all those souls,  all those dreamy-eyed moms and beaten down garbage pickers in India, all the Hindus bathing in dirty, sacred rivers and illiterate natives fishing the Amazon, the screaming day trader on the stock exchange floor, the old man who made terrible mistakes, the …

The Advent Fulfilled: My Prayer This Christmas

“It’s a scary thing to pray for someone to recognize her own need for Jesus,” she confided, “Because you don’t really know what God might allow to bring that about.” I nodded. I agree. And I know from personal experience that it’s not enough to “be on good terms with God”. It’s a comfortable place, the good-terms-position, because it relies on the grace found in the name of Jesus Christ while denying the requisite of the shedding of his blood. It relies on the good nature of God while ignoring his justice. It relies on the morality of ones’ actions and dismisses the whole of the person Immanuel. Because however it happened, whatever it took to place the person of God into a crying, suckling, messy human baby, it didn’t happen so that we could keep grace in our back pockets and face the day to day according to our own wills. God himself submitted his will to the necessary, the vile, the reproachable so that I can have the freedom to choose or deny …

The Advent Fulfilled: How to Be A Mother to The Son of God

What does a mother do when she holds this in her arms? “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:2,6 And what does she make of these words, spoken tenderly from an old man to a young mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce you own soul too.” And after Simeon, wise and old, “righteous and devout” finishes blessing the child and cautioning Mary of the future troubles, ancient Anna hobbles up and with a great smile, toothless no doubt, nearly blind at eighty-four years of age, begins to praise Yahweh for this baby who would be the “redemption of Israel”.

The Advent Fulfilled: The Gift of Ever-Increasing Glory

For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. {2 Corinthians 4:6} Dark and silence had settled over the hospital halls. In the small hours of morning, I held my firstborn baby and marveled at her features, her black, serious eyes, her rosebud mouth; her presence, long awaited I now felt in my arms, her features, once imagined, I now traced with my fingertips. I drank in the full reality of her. And to this day almost two decades later, I never tire of looking at the faces of my children. That first-born child followed a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, a blighted hope, a fullness that dissipated and disappeared instead of developing into a baby who would force her way from dark womb into the light. As the weeks stacked upon one another, I looked at my growing belly with more hope and less fear that this little …

What Clips Your Wings? {or, yelling at God}

What clips your wings? My youngest boy brought home an application to be a class representative in student body government, his first foray into leadership, politics, into submitting himself to the popular vote. The form says: List in this box text that describes why you should be considered for student leadership. His answers are adorable. But more than the cuteness of a nine-year-old stretching his wings in the confidence of his own flight is the profundity of his confidence. He is not tinged by doubt, he is untethered by past failure; his future is abounding in hope and choice and greatness. He lists his achievements  (in his best handwriting) and doesn’t see them as small, but sees them as toeholds and handholds to climbing higher. “I get to be line leader”; “I almost always turn in all my work on time”; “I am kind”. He is putting himself out there, testing the lift and strength of his confidence. The class votes next week on whom they’ll choose to represent them. And he may fail. A …