Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Advent Week III: Rejoice

We prepare this week by feeling the joy.  We move through this week feeling a part of the waiting world that rejoices because our longing has prepared us to believe the reign of God is close at hand.  And so we consciously ask:

Prepare our hearts
and remove the sadness
that hinders us from feeling
the joy and hope
which his presence
will bestow.

Each morning this week, in that brief moment we are becoming accustomed to, we want to light a third inner candle.  Three candles, going from expectation, to longing, to joy.  They represent our inner preparation, or inner perspective.  In this world of “conflict and division,” “greed and lust for power,” we begin each day this week with a sense of liberating joy.  Perhaps we can pause, breathe deeply and say,

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
     my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
(reflection from here)

I read this this morning needing some guidance into the week.  There is something about the Christmas season that expands my heart and I find myself longing for all sorts of things: new memories, community, a boyfriend, children, more ministry opportunities, travel, new experiences, play, presents, affirmation of importance in people's lives...

I long...

I thirst....

I don't often know what to do with desire for more in my life.  I rejoice in what has been given but yet still there is a place that longs for so much more.

So I read: Scripture, Devotionals, Meditations like these to settle my heart in.  The desire I have is not the problem (for years I thought it was and chose shutting down instead). Rather, it's where I take the desire and into whose hand I place it.

This week we R E J O I C E!  My heart is expanding, being prepared, and oening up to J O Y.  The reason I rejoice is not that all the longings will be fulfilled, but they are what point my heart H O M E. They are the honing device that draws my spirit back to Christ. There as I settle in to His presence, his dwelling within me, He puts my heart right.  

He affirms the longing (which most the time I'm expecting rebuke if I'm honest cause shouldn't I be fully satisfied in him?) but He also reminds me of the incompleteness of those things.  Deep satisfaction and grace to go forth in my life to love can only happen if I stay fiercely committed to betrothal in Him.  

In him, I am free to give myself over for the sake of another, find beauty and joy in the mundane, hope for a greater tomorrow, and rest in what's provided now.  The longings don't go, but they draw me back to the Source of Life.  So when a longing is fulfilled, when H O P E is no longer deferred, the hands that receive the gift are better able to enjoy it as a gift rather than entitlement.

And so we rejoice....anticipate together....and find J O Y.  Christ is coming, to the lowly manger of our conflicted hearts, to bring new life. 
I N C A R N A T I O N...in you and I.  Amazing!


Anonymous said...

I rejoice for you being in my life! Love, Anonymous

Susie Shaw said...

I rejoice as well I'm sure, Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous ( :

Anonymous said...

You light and relight our lives. Love, RCS

Susie Shaw said...

aw thanks dad ( :