Sunday was hectic again for us. As such, we lit our Advent candle of love last night.
One of the texts we read discussed God’s conversation with David. David wanted to build God a permanent dwelling place. God asks David why it should be him to build a temple. Throughout the conversation, God reiterates that he has been with the Israelites moving where he led his people. It was as if God was saying, “Why contain me? I’ve never left you or forsaken you. I told you to go somewhere and with the Tabernacle, I moved with you.”
That imagery brought forth tears to my eyes. I thought of how relevant it is today. At Christmas, God became man. He loved us so much that he chose to dwell with humanity. The author stepped into the story and experienced what his characters did. He related to his people. God was born to lowly people, humbling himself to be born to impoverished, but faithful folk. Then he led a life of service and died on the cross to service salvation to all mankind. Upon his ascension, he gave himself to his people again through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
God dwelt in the Tabernacle that moved with the people. He now dwells within his people, through the Holy Spirit, and never leaves them. God moves with us and through us. He loves us so much that he never has us endure life alone. A believer’s tribulations are manageable because we have his strength inside us. May we live trusting that.
I admire Bonhoeffer because he didn’t just live hoping that God was alive and moving inside and alongside him, he lived actually believing that. I want God to help me in my unbelief at this time. I want to love him because he first loved me. It is my prayer that friends, family, and enemies have noticed a stark contrast in who I was and who I’ve become. My fear is that there hasn’t been a noticeable difference. I guess it comes down to trust again. I have to trust that by pursuing God daily, out of love, that I will be transformed, however slowly the process might be.
He loved me enough to grant me a long awaited prayer, even though I’m wracked with fear now because of it. God answered my prayer and he’ll see to it that I’m guided every step of the way. I was said to be barren, well basically barren (5% chance of natural conception), but now I am in my sixth month. Like the dialogue with David, it is as if God is telling me, “Child, why do you fear the plans I have for you? Don’t you know that I move with you? I’ve always been with you. Won’t you seek me and find that you’ve always had your needs met? Trust me to walk with you child. I walked with humanity in the flesh of Christ and I walk with you now through the Holy Spirit. Do not confine me to be an observer of your life. Let me in and see how I’m still doing the miraculous even in the mundane.”
So may others know I am Christian by my love of Christ because he first loved me. May I submit to God’s will and not box him in, but let him move with me all the days of my life. I pray that I’d keep a better record of how he’s been forever faithful. May I look at that manger this Christmas season and see the just God who willingly lay inside a hay covered wood to later be wrenched upon blood stained wood because he loved his creation, even to the point of death. Thus as my girth grows may I see his promises fulfilled and a love divine throughout all eternity.
Immanuel- the greatest love he could have ever shown his people.
*I know this is a bit sporadic in thought. Several ideas have been put forth, but my mind has been racing over how vast and wide God’s love for his people is, including me. Perhaps I just need to sit and be still, graciously appreciating this love rather than typing faster than my mind can comprehend a love this deep and sincere.*