Monday, December 24, 2007

the breath of heaven ...

Merry Christmas from Huntington Beach, California! Doing a little reading this morning, I felt the ocean breeze gently stir in the room, lightly lifting the filmy sheers at my bedroom window. The sun's rays caught the little mirrors and prisms in the window and cast dancing rainbows around the room, colors twinkling on walls and surfaces. I put down my reading and just watched. The air across my skin and the scattering rainbows just made me feel so filled with love and the magic of Christmas and the miracle of His birth!

The following is edited from last year's December 17, 2006 post:

Advent always draws me to Mary, a young Jewish girl in Nazareth, raised in a good Jewish family, betrothed to a good Jewish man. The stories of Mary were written long after she'd crossed over, long after the events of her life had transpired. There were no reporters to relate her story as it unfolded, no paparazzi snapping away. So my beliefs about those times may not be entirely factual, but they are beliefs of the heart, of what I believe are the intents of the Nativity story.

What must life have been like for this young girl, Mary, anticipating her marriage to Joseph, looking forward to a normal Jewish life with him, raising kids, working, all the normal family things? She was about 15, maybe younger. Then an angel appears to her and tells her that she is to have a child - without having been with a man - and not any child, but the long-awaited Messiah. Faithfulness and prayer was much different then than today, but this would surely have given any young girl pause, to have at least raised questions on her part, possibly denial that such a thing could occur. How many of us - in the circumstances of those times - would have thought "thanks, but no thanks?"

Mary does question, "How shall this be?" Then, her simple, faithful "Yes" - her most obedient response "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word’” (Luke 1:38) - shows a complete trust in the Lord, her embrace of God's call for her to change everything she'd planned for her life and to obey God's word without question.

Mary's response inspires me to try to live my life with complete trust in God and in His plan for my life. My Advent journey each year provides a glorious opportunity for reflection and renewal, a special time set aside for just such contemplation on how to live my life in a way that honors and glorifies.

The beautiful song Breath of Heaven reflects the awesomeness of Mary's response to the angel, her fiat. Mary questions God, asking him if He's really quite sure she's right for the job, if perhaps "a wiser one should have had my place?" Faithfully, she responds: "But I offer all I am/for the mercy of your plan" and she asks Him for His help, knowing the difficulties that lay ahead of her:

"Help me be strong ...
Help me be ...
Help me ..."

A prayer any believer can pray any day, any time, looking to our faith (in whatever very personal way that means to each of us) to sustain us, to help us be.

Tomorrow, Advent's quiet season of prayer-filled waiting and reflective contemplation culminates in the joy of blessed Christmas. Lord, let it be me to me according to your word, and help me to develop complete trust and faith in you in all things, just as Mary did. Emmanuel - God with us!



Britt-Arnhild said...

Beautiful Rose.

It is early Christmas morning here. I've had a bad night as I often have and felt low when I woke up. Then, in the total darkness outside the window I heard a bird singing and I knew that this is the day God has created.

stewcarol said...

Merry Christmas Rose! Had to check in for a spiritual lift, as I can always count on here. Deep sigh...thank you.

Lynn said...

God bless, Rose.

Amber said...

Beautiful post and sentiments as always, Rose! I really enjoyed the photo of the pier decked out for the holidays.

Connie said...

Dearest Rose,
You always life my spirits and place a song in my heart whenever I read you blog. It doesn't matter what the subject matter is - I come away feeling Blessed, love in my heart, and appreciation for everything.

God has Blessed me so much when our paths crossed.