Saturday, December 18, 2010

carry us home

so often i want to write something that describes what i am thinking through or how i am feeling in a moment or what my perception of life is at the current moment... and SO often i have serious trouble trying to do so! and then often, i stumble across words written by others that are beautiful and communicate truth clearly... i have been trying hard to not get overwhelmed with christmas "stuff" this year and stay focused on truth, on God's grace in sending His sweet Son, our Savior. i read a part of a chapter yesterday that i want to share here... like i said, so often, others are much better at communicating through the written word than i am... and i love this, so i thought i would share it with my friends...

"can anything separate us from the love Christ has for us? God answered our question before we asked it. so we'd see his answer, he lit the sky with a star. so we'd hear it, he filled the night with a choir; and so we'd believe it, he did what no man had ever dreamed. he became flesh and dwelt among us.

he place his hand on the shoulder of humanity and said, "you're something special."

untethered by time, he sees us all. from the backwoods of virginia to the business district of london; from the vikings to the astronauts, from the cave-dwellers to the kings, from the hut-builders to the finger-pointers to the rock-stackers, he sees us. vagabonds and ragamuffins all, he saw us before we were born.

and he loves what he sees. flooded by emotion. overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, "you are my child. i love you dearly. i'm aware that someday you'll turn from me and walk away. but i want you to know, i've already provided you a way back."

and to prove it, he did something extraordinary.

stepping from the throne, he removed his robe of light and wrapped himself in skin: pigmented, human skin. the light of the universe entered a dark, wet womb. he who angels worship nestled himself in the placenta of a peasant, was birthed into the cold night, and then slept on cow's hay.

mary didn't know whether to give him milk or give him praise, but she gave him both since he was, as near as she could figure, hungry and holy. joseph didn't know whether to call him junior or Father. but in the end called him Jesus, since that's what the angel said and since he didn't have the faintest idea what to name a God he could cradle in his arms.

...don't you think their heads tilted and their minds wondered, "what in the world are you doing, God?" or better phrased, "God, what are you doing in the world?"

"can anything make me stop loving you?" God asks. "watch me speak your language, sleep on your earth, and feel your hurts. behold the maker of sight and sound as he sneezes, coughs, and blows his nose. you wonder if i understand how you feel? look into the dancing eyes of the kid in nazareth; that's God walking to school. ponder the toddler at mary's table; that's God spilling his milk.

"you wonder how long my love will last? find your answer on a splintered cross, on a craggy hill. that's me you see up there, your maker, your God, nail-stabbed and bleeding. covered in spit and sin-soaked. that's your sin i'm feeling. that's your death i'm dying. that's your resurrection i'm living. that's how much i love you."

-Max Lucado, In the Grip of Grace

i love pondering all of these words. a great songwriter, andrew peterson, writes, "behold the lamb, the hope of man." and that He is. my Hope. my Jesus. and as peterson also writes, and as we anticipate Christ's promise to come back someday again, to meet us once again on this broken ball... "glory to Jesus, ancient and strong, come to your people, and carry us home..."

the hope of man... in your overwhelming grace, carry us home.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

all the difference

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference...

robert frost