by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020
Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas
Jesus emptied Himself. He did what was required. Not just manger and cross, but throughout. Thirty-three years. Living a different way with a clearer view. The God-view. Of what life’s actually about and how it is to be done.
What was it like to be eternal, infinite God confined to a human womb and then be made vulnerable to human choices and human care? What was it like to be enthroned with the angels and now suddenly living in first century Israel with all its “modern” (not!) conveniences? Angels all around yet dependent on humans. To live as human and mortal while God and subject to impact of good and evil choices of those fallible ones you created.
Yet, yet, yet Jesus is the Way. He underlined that how it was for Him will be the norm. What you can expect. His life demonstrates the victory and omnipotence of God working through all things. Through no room at the inn and impoverished birth status, to hasty exile and decades of obscurity. Time passing. Wasted? Not in God’s view. Every moment to be God-imbued and Spirit-guided.
All in obedience, which was love. For Father and the just-as-obscure other. Each person mattering equally to the heart of God. This is what Jesus’ obedience revealed. God made flesh. God Most High. God over all. Omniscient. All seeing. All compassion. In everyday life and in greatest suffering. In torment still obedient. Never complacent. Attentive to Father so attentive to each one. God-led. And so, after He ascended, Jesus sent His Spirit.
Spirit-led. Spirit comforting, but also Spirit-guided. This is your role. It brings the Christmas Present and makes Him present. That which is not of this world still in the world and loving each one unto death and through death unto Him for all time. Not by your power or even your will, but His. Jesus emptied Himself of all wants and desires and goals, except Father’s (God’s).
Spirit longing to use you. Not forcing. Always aware and comforting, too.
Do only what He says. As He leads. Get time alone. Time alone with Him. So you can bring His presence to others. To be that God-emptied vessel. Yes, be present to Him and He will be present in you and through you.
He knows what is needed. (You do not.) In His presence, your heart will grow more whole again. Emptied. And He will flow out through you more, which is His balm to you and His love through you exquisitely.
This Jesus-like living which is where God can use you in that place where life is less unto “more”. It is the paradox of life in and for God. This is not a surface cheery face, but a transparent vulnerability that does not pretend. It is an ongoing, joyful availability to God. Looking to Him. Leaning on Him. Listening. Ready. Like Jesus. What now, Father? What now?
Holy, holy, holy are You, Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are filled with Your glory. How beautiful You are! You were, You came, You are present and coming again. All in all. All through you. The only life in You at all times. You surrounding. Your being the Source of life and life to come. The continuum of life unto death yet unto true life which is and always will be, whether I choose to recognize it or not. True God from true God. Begotten not made. One in being with the Father. And You sent Your Spirit. The One upon whom I lean now. Spirit, You are the one who leads and guides and still the worshipful, awe-filled prayer which must break through my lips and vibrate with humble palpitations out and up as incense to You: holy, holy, holy are You. Yes, Holy. For there is none like You nor will there ever be another. You are One. You are love and You are leading and leading me and each one through. Holy Spirit, I need You. Holy Spirit, I want You. Engrave on my heart more the truth of who God is and what He wants. Help me to hear ever clearer Your voice and to lay down my life to obey without hesitation. Every day. Every moment. Not my will but Yours. Yes, with Your help this is and will remain my heart’s cry. Not my will, but Yours. Holy, magnificent One, may Your reign of love increase in this world, for it is already fullness in the world to come.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her delivery,
7 And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn.
SONG Recommended: ETERNAL WISDOM YOU ARE LOVE –Christmas Worship album
If you are just joining in these reflections, read the Introduction here to learn what these are all about.
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