Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas--Live the Moment

In many ways this is one of the most enjoyable pre-Christmas years ever. I asked the Lord to motivate me to do what needed to be done and leave the rest to Him. Amid stomach flu, colds, allergies, school programs, and the host of holiday activities, God has heard and answered my prayer. I am so thankful! Yesterday as I sat down to read Mark 14:1-11 for the third day in a row (it takes a while to put all the pieces together sometimes), this stood out to me:

v. 1,3: Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him…. He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table….

Jesus’ death was two days away--and He knew it (v. 8). He would face betrayal, unjust accusations, the malice and wrath of influential men, strong and powerful men, but here He was, "reclining at the table" with His friend, Simon. He was not hurried or harried. He lived each day, trusting the Father’s will and plan(1 Peter 2:23). He was not concerned with how He should respond along the way. He was not concerned with the pain, difficulty, or how to change the circumstances. He did not worry about the outcome of His death. He lived each moment as the Father gave it. He rested in each moment, each encounter, each circumstance, trusting that God would accomplish His purpose.

Application: How content am I in each moment?  Am I able to "recline" and enjoy fellowship with those I love or am I churning and worrying about other things? Jesus left us an example of living life to the full--an abundant life (John 10:10), but how often we forfeit that abundant life for something less. What a beautiful picture of “leaning on the everlasting arms” in each and every circumstance.

May you be blessed in each moment of the Christmas season as you walk in His footsteps, entrusting each moment, each difficulty, each victory to Him.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

As the Lord Wills

I have been looking forward to the next week and half for a long time--few extra obligations or teaching commitments, lots of time for wrapping and sending gifts, Christmas letters, baking.  But God had other plans.  Hit with the stomach flu, I am hesitant to bake--or even send gifts to family.  Do viruses travel through the mail?  I was so excited that I forgot to plan, "if the Lord wills."

This morning, sighing that my mother-in-law may not get her homemade biscotti and peppermint bark on time, David reminded me that "God is sovereign" and it will probably get done, just not on my timetable.  So for today, perhaps I'll stay in my jammies and let the world do what it will.  I, for one, will sit back and wait on the Lord--as one more child sleeps with a bucket next to her head.... 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Jesus We Miss at Christmas

Christmas is full of glitz:  the stores, the music, the streets.  We all like a little bling, some more than others, but bling is fun.  It's festive.  It's exciting.  It's both reminiscent and new.  Over and over, the book of Mark contrasts man's desire for bling with Christ's humility.  At His birth he was surrounded by hay and beasts of burden instead of gold and scores of people, angels and shepherds instead of trumpets and processions.  And, in Mark chapter eleven, a donkey and commoners in the place of a war horse and royalty.

Passage: Mark 11:1-11

v.  4-7: They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they untied it. Some of the bystanders were saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it.