Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stretching a Heart

Victorian symbols and romantic elements adorn this heart in a Christmas greeting. The rose has long been associated with Mary, and later among protestants, with Jesus. The poinsettia as a Christmas flower was a late-comer on the scene.

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming
from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming,
as those of old have sung.
It came, a flow’ret bright,
amid the cold of winter,
when half spent was the night.*

I was just reading about being a dwelling place-- what it means to have God abide with us....

O come and dwell in me,
Spirit of power within,
And bring the glorious liberty
From sorrow, fear, and sin.
( From O, Come and Dwell in Me by Charles Wesley)

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments [to love one another]. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, [Advocate, or Counselor] to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you." John 14:15-17

And for a contemporary insight on being a dwelling place for God, I recommend:
"And this Christmas, I’ll be stretched thin and I will feel myself asked to love to the furthest edges of myself, asked to extend grace to the outermost reaches...To be a womb for Christ, I'll feel my inner walls, my boundaries stretch..."
(Ann Voskamp, from her writings today. )

I feel a bit stretched in many directions this week, and it is safe to say you do too. Is our discomfort because we are engaged something of lasting significance, or just more busyness of what they like to call 'holiday hustle and bustle'?

Let not your labor be in vain.....make it count. It comes to me as a reminder during these days....Make it count.

*“Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”
From the 15th-century German, translated by Theodore Baker
UM Hymnal, No. 216

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