As we head toward Christmas and close out the year, I’m celebrating Advent with the 1 Minute Wiser videos and this blog. Advent focuses on 4 themes: Hope, Love, Joy and Peace.
Ezekiel 36: 25 ESV I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
The edge of my lips, where yours should touch
Cushioning me from the strikes of life
Smushing my face into a smile
I learn you won’t return
My lips part for howls to pass
A voice I never knew I had
They grip each other tightly
Holding the nub of my dignity
Fragile stub and I’m howling again
I celebrate you
Tell everyone about you
No one sees you like I did
So I let them go
I’d rather hold you
They have lives
You do not
It’s up to me
To preserve you
I raise my lips each day
Feel the air hardening the clay
For that kiss suspended
Last week, we talked about God’s wisdom which brings strength and builds trust. It’s different from the wisdom Eve took from the tree, which led to shame and distorted thinking. Love often falls victim to that twisted wisdom. We hurt, and instead of going to the Source of all love, we cling to what we can no longer hold. The person we’ve lost becomes an idol, someone we worship who pushes out our devotion to God and taints our relationships with others. Sometimes, we even turn on God, accusing Him of stealing that person from us. When we’re hurting, everything feels so pointless we want to abandon life completely.
As humans, we have a hard time believing anyone can understand what we’re feeling. We resist comfort if it comes from someone who hasn’t been in our shoes, and we mock advice if it comes from someone in an “ivory tower.”
God gets that. That’s why this time of year is so powerful. Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection gave us salvation, but His human birth changed our understanding of God. God poured out His essence into a body that required protection and breastmilk and diaper changes, a body that had to cut teeth and be taught to walk. God joined with humanity to make a Son, all God inside and all us outside. Just like us, He lived with hunger and hormones and dirty feet and rejection and temptation and friendship and betrayal. God gets us. He knows how it feels to long for that missing kiss.
Twisted wisdom brings shame, while godly wisdom brings direction and faith. Twisted love turns us to stone, while the love Jesus brought gives us life. If you are missing someone this Christmas, my heart goes out to you. The pain is real, I know. But this season is about a life that begins here and goes far beyond these bodies. Let God give you a heart of flesh instead of stone, so you can live the life Jesus brought you from this minute forward.
1 John 4:7 ESV Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.
Share a moment with God — here’s a song.