Gracious Jesus, the juxtaposition of images in the nativity scene are almost too much to wrap my tiny heart around. Your mother, Mary, is just beginning to nurse and know you. Even as I write these words I realize what a holy mystery and immeasurable condescension your incarnation was. You, the very God who created all things… the Lord who sustains all things by the power of your word...the King who is making all things new...as a baby you drew life-sustaining nourishment from a young maiden’s breast. I’m stunned by your inconceivable humility--a humility that marked your life from cradle to cross.
Shepherds ran off to spread the word of your birth, while Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” “Hurrying off” like a shepherd to tell others about you has always been easier for me than sitting still and letting you tell me about yourself. It’s always been easier for me to do “productive” things for you, rather than spend undistracted, unrushed time with you. I confess this as sin, Jesus. This simply isn’t okay, for knowing about you is not the same thing as knowing you. An informed mind is not the same thing as an enflamed heart...by any stretch.
To know you is eternal life, and I do want to know you, Jesus...so much better than I already do. I want to treasure you in my heart and ponder who you are. I want to contemplate your joyful life within the Trinity, from all eternity. I want to marinate in everything you’ve already accomplished through your life, death and resurrection...and everything you’re presently doing as the King of kings and Lord of lords...and everything you will be to us in the new heaven and new earth--the Bridegroom of your beloved Bride.
O, blessed circuit board overloading and breaking glory...there’s so much to treasure and so much to ponder. It’s not as though I’m a stranger to treasuring and pondering. I treasure and ponder a lot of things, Jesus—things, however, that lead to a bankrupt spirit...an impoverished heart...and a spent body.
Jesus, this very Advent season, by the power of the gospel, slow all of us down...settle us afresh...center us on yourself, that each of us might say with awe and adoration, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And being with you, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Ps 73:25-26).” So very Amen, we pray, in your peerless and priceless name.
Weekend A La Carte (January 20)
34 minutes ago