Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Saturday! All is well here at 811. FROGS WIN! FROGS WIN!
The candle is lit…
As I have turned the page in my devotional book the theme of the month is:
“Because of all that the Son is, we have been given one blessing after another. John 1: 16
Dear God, through your word of encouragement, I become myself. Thank you for looking far enough in me to see strengths and skills I don’t know are there. God, in you is all my worth, glory and joy. I thank you for accepting and loving me. I praise you for delighting in me and leading me to victory. Thank you Lord for placing in each of us a heart-place where you find a place to dwell. Lord, I lift the Via deCristo Weekend coming up. Bless all who will serve and all who will participate with your Presence and unconditional love. Thank you Lord, I love you so much. I pray all of this in Jesus’ name, amen.
Tonight I was asked to provide the homily and preside over Eucharist for the final team meeting of the Via deCristo weekend to be held this coming weekend. This evening’s writing is sort of a pre-Advent thought and a portion of the homily I shared this evening.
My Heart would be Your Bethlehem. A Shelter for Your birth; My body be Your dwelling place, A sacred temple on earth. By holy intervention and act of the divine in union with mortality make incarnation mine. (First verse of My Heart Would be Your Bethlehem by Stephen Hill)
When it comes to the month of November I think of three things; my birthday, Thanksgiving and usually the beginning of Advent. This weekend I began reading a small book titled Not A Silent Night by Adam Hamilton; a minister of a Methodist Church in Kansas. He writes this 68 page book to look at the life of Jesus through Mary’s eyes in the most unusual way. He writes this book from the time of Mary’s death to the birth of Jesus. It is a fascinating read. I have for about six years now felt a kinship with Mary as we have both lost adult children in very tragic ways and watched them die. Her son died in a public viewing and our son died in my arms.
Casey and I had a deeply personal relationship. Mary’s relationship with Jesus was deeply personal and this lyric is somewhat like the beautiful song of praise Mary sings in Luke as she accepts the responsibility of carrying the Son of God in her body and mothering him not only as God’s son, but her son as well. The song reminds us of her life changing surrender but it is also a song that belongs to us. It is a reminder that our relationship with Jesus is deeply personal. This tiny revelation wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger must be placed in us. We must be willing as was Mary to bear the cost of discipleship and face whatever scorn, or misunderstanding or whatever life hands out to us to its full conclusion—making our personal heart-space the place where Jesus can be born over and over as our life matures and admitting our moment by moment need for Him to find a dwelling place in our hearts. We are all called to bring the Holy Son of God to earth.
The chorus of this piece speaks of our own surrender and commitment to a life lived with, in and through the love of Jesus: “My heart, my will, my mind, my all, I consecrate to bring the Holy Son of God to earth. Oh, let the angels sing!” Let us let Advent begin, just a little early.
Take joy in the journey praying, praising, laughing and carry Jesus with you wherever the journey leads. Wear comfortable shoes; set your clock one hour back and get some extra sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene