Monday, December 22, 2014

And This is Christmas -- Christmas 4

In a Garden long ago, the crafty serpent made his entrance known
By enticing a woman named Eve with fruit and the lies sown.   
Pride took hold of her heart, birthing the desire for more and she bit.
She turned to her mate and handed him the God-forbidden fruit and he partook of the sin.
The Serpent smiled as shame permeated their souls and he chuckled as they hid from God.
But God came near extending grace, stitching animal skins to cover disgrace.

After that day the darkness grew and perpetrated the earth,
And every thought and every intention of man was governed by sin.
And violence grew rampant and human blood was spilt.
But Noah, found favor with God  and an ark was built on dry desert land.
Winds blew, a cataclysmic storm brewed, and animals were coming two by two.
And God came near, shutting the door, sheltering them from the raging storm.

And then there was a time that men worshiped fertility gods instead of  God.
In that culture Sarai grew old, suffering beneath the weight of her barren shame,
And the man who took her as his bride faithfully kept her as his own.
He chose to love her in spite of  empty arms and his own desire for a son.
God called them away, promising them a son, but laughed. 
But God came near and she birthed and nursed, holding little "Laughter" close to the heart.

Then there came a day when Israel sinned and Babylon took her captive.
The finest young men were taken and groomed to serve the foreign king. 
In a fit of pride, the said king built a statue demanding all to fall at its feet.
Three young captives, loyal to their God, courageously refused to bow.
They were bound and cast into burning hot flames to face a certain death. 
But God came near, standing with them in the heat, saving their lives because of their fauth.

There came a day when Rome ruled, prophets were silent, and Israel longed desperately for Messiah. 
And an angel came in the night, awakening a young woman with glorious news,
Betrothed to a man who held integrity in his heart, God said He had chosen her to bear His Son.
In faith, Mary worshiped and in faith Joseph remained committed and raised the Babe as his own.
At the right time the baby was born and placed in a manger as shepherds bowed and angels sang.
And God came near in human form, born a Savior, a Shepherd, and a King. 

There came a time when Jesus walked among mankind, inviting all to experience love. 
A woman caught in adultery cast at His feet experienced mercy and grace.
A woman rejected by five men found God's love could truly satisfy her thirst.
A woman suffering as blood flowed long was healed by simply touching His hem. 
And a man born blind was given sight; lepers were cleansed, and demons cast out.
And God came near with a missions of grace, offering love and a solution for sin. 

There came a time when religious rulers felt threatened by this God wearing flesh.
And a greedy disciple fulfilled prophecy by betraying his Master with a kiss.
The Messiah taken, tried through the night, found guiltless was sentenced to die.
Stripped, beaten, mocked and scorned, He was hammered to a tree.
The world grew dark, His blood was spilled, our shame covered, and God's wrath satisfied. 
And God came near, love conquering hate, trampling the Enemy beneath His feet.

And there came a time when God dwells  in the hearts of those He called His own. 
And people work, people play, people watch and people pray, people long for the King's return,
And a couples grieve a babies lost, husband watches as cancer claims other lives,  
And Soldiers fight for freedom as children senselessly kill each another,
Parents pray for runaways, addictions exert control, marriages wilt and crumble, and girls preyed upon. 
Yet, God remains near, carefully mending each heart broken in two, one love-stitch at a time.

There will come a time when the heavens open, revealing the King called Faithful and True.
And we will live with Him in the dwelling place He is now preparing. 
And God will forever be our God, the victorious Christmas story finally complete. 
He is the wiper of tears, the destroyer of death, the eraser of pain, the remover of grief!
He is the purifier of hearts, the satisfier of longings, the giver of Life, and lover of souls. 
God came near, the Alpha and Omega, completing redemption stories, one life, one heart at a time.    


  

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Introduction

Several years ago I realized that I often sped through my Scripture reading and gave it little thought. Yet, when I had meaningful conversations with friends or family members I replayed them over and over in my head. One day it occurred to me, that if I thought more about what God says in his word that I would not only know more about Him, but I would come to know Him in a personal way. I would know more about His thoughts, His character, His intentions, His passions, and His actions. So, I began to take one verse at a time and think on it and then journal about it. At the time I was served as a volunteer in youth ministry and shared my “Thoughts on God” with those girls. For a while I have been rewriting and posting them on this blog. I have realized when I am in the Word or move through my day focusing on God's presence that I have wonderful opportunities to Meet God in the Everyday. The Everyday can include storms, blessings, hard things, scary things, exciting things...just any where, anyplace, any time. I hope that you will be able to engage with what I write with both your head and your heart. I also hope you will be challenged to love, trust, and know the God of the Scriptures. It is my prayer that as you read you will experience Him at a deeper level and share pieces of your journey in the comments. It is my desire that we form a safe community of believers who pursue the God who loves us radically, eternally, and without reserve. As a precious pastor once told me, "Don't forget, Wendy, God is Good!" I find myself compelled by His Goodness and His Love to share so others can know Him through all the ups and downs of life. Please feel free to dialogue back and to share how each passage impacts you. If if there is a passage you would like me to write on or if you would like to be a guest blogger, please let me know. I am just learning to navigate this blog and appreciate the kind comments you have made in the past...I promise I will even try to respond if you leave a note. If you are blessed please share the blog with friends!