“Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
Last week someone asked if I was ready for Christmas. I said yes. This week…not so much. The last minute baking, food prep, packing for travel and that one-more-box of cards to buy leave me feeling unprepared.
With every task I check off, the to-do list only seems to grow. What happened to being ready?
Mary got it right. She focused on what mattered. She spent time with the Lord rather than bustling around with preparations. Yes, chores have to be done. But approaching the list with a fresh attitude is key.
This Christmas, I’m trying to remember to take a breather. To sit at the fit of Jesus before the preparations of the day. To listen. To pray. I want to focus on what can’t be taken away.
Lord, grant your presence. Be my calm before the day begins, remain during the hustle and bustle, and linger long after the last plate is washed and crumbs are swept.
“Again the One who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength…” Daniel 11:18
How can I be strong,
except you strengthen me.
How can I know your will,
except you speak to me.
How can I have you near,
except you dwell in me.
How can I be worthy,
except you cover me.
How can I call you Father,
except you loved me.
How can I live forever,
except you died for me.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8
He made James faithful and John devoted,
Timothy proved loyal and Peter emoted.
Martha got it done and Mary took it in,
David grew heart-broken, and Paul determined.
He created Moses a leader and Ruth a follower,
Joseph rose a dreamer and Esther an interceder.
Each one granted a purpose to fulfill,
These heroes, the faithful, who do his will.
Each of us has a purpose to fulfill. It’s that reason to get up in the morning. May we all find it, or die searching.
“This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:10
Love is not based on our love for God. That foundation would be unstable at best because it’s based on human capabilities. Love is based on what God did for us. He sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. All other love springs from that foundation…or is it an ocean?
An ocean deep,
Is the well of God’s love—
where springs begin
and rivers flow—
it’s endless depths
no man can know.
On shores of sand
yet tides of mercy pull
and waves of grace call—
God’s ocean reverberates
for one, for all.
“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” I John 2:6
So, how did Jesus walk?
Jesus broke bread and fed crowds; he fried fish for his hungry friends. Jesus broke tradition and spoke with a Samaritan woman. He did not condemn one caught in adultery. Jesus put mud on a blind man’s eyes and welcomed little children. He accepted an extravagant gift of perfume and wept over a good friend’s death. Jesus dipped bread with a traitor and died for sins he didn’t commit.
That’s how Jesus walked.
He walked in humility. He served others. He fully accepted God’s call on his life. Jesus came to connect with people and provide a way to God. He became the bridge to God.
Am I a bridge to God? A connector? I wonder if others find the way to God when they see my life, or do they see barriers that send them in another direction. Would I be willing to break with tradition or muddy my hands if it meant becoming a bridge?
Lord, push barriers away, that nothing keep others from coming to you. Help me walk as you walked.
May others find their way to God
When on my path they trod.
May barriers be pushed aside—
An open bridge beckon wide.
“Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.” James 3:3
Ever notice how some people always seem to have the right words to say? I know someone whose very presence speaks grace, love, and acceptance. Her words steer the attitude of the room in a good direction.
As a small rudder steers a big ship, so the tongue steers the direction of life. Control the rudder and control the ship. Control the tongue and control life’s destination.
It sounds simple enough, but how do we control the unruly tongue? Only God could do such a thing.
It seems we must get to the source of the flowing spring of words—the heart. Change the heart and change what streams out of it. Change what streams out and chart a new course for the day, the relationship…the life.
Then yes, Lord, change my heart. Fill me with your compassions and mercies. May they flow freely and guide this ship through an ocean of grace.
“…For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34