Tag Archives: coming

Continuing To Adore Him

matterofprayer blog post for Monday, January 6, 2014

3 wise-men

 

Continuing To Adore Him

January 6th. The day after Twelfth Night. Three Kings Day. The Twelfth Day of Christmas. Epiphany. It goes by different names in different parts of the world. This is the day in the ancient Western church tradition that the Magi came to give their gifts to the Christ child. The Baptism of Christ is celebrated in the ancient Eastern church tradition

I know that in my current church tradition, the day of Epiphany is pretty much like any other, unless it happens to fall on a Sunday. That’s too bad, since I was raised in a high liturgical setting. I learned about the liturgical colors, the various vestments and the different holy days. I have always liked Epiphany. For years, I’ve been drawn to the concept of the Kings and their gifts, as well as that of the Eternal Light of the Universe suddenly breaking into our little backwater of a world. Being born as a human in Bethlehem. And in some years, the Baptism of our Lord is celebrated. In both cases, the Light of the World is shining forth, whether as a small child or at the beginning of His public ministry.

In the biblical narratives, we see people coming to Jesus. Whether as a baby or as an adult, they come to Him with an agenda. In the case of the Kings, it was to pay homage to another newborn King. In the case of those at the Jordan River, their agenda was mostly to repent and get baptized by John, and Jesus was not the main event (at first).

What about me? I admit I sometimes come to God with an agenda. Well, all right. I almost always come to God with some sort of checklist. What if I let God set the agenda? What if I had no expectations, no presuppositions? What then? I suspect my encounter with God would be different. Very different.

I need to drop the agenda. The checklist. The false expectations and put-on presuppositions. Help me, God!

Let’s pray. Dear God, Holy One born in Bethlehem, I pray that I might be a willing servant of Yours. Light of the World, I pray that I might also be a light on a lampstand, giving light to the whole house. Forgive me for my sins, especially the sin of bringing an agenda to You. Hoping, no, demanding that You solve my problems or forgive my sins—when often I’ve stepped right in the middle of something serious or tragic. Please, forgive me. Thank You for Your loving-kindness and gracious mercy. O, let me come and continue to adore You, Lord. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like a Refiner’s Fire

refiner's fire

matterofprayer blog post for Monday, December 23, 2013

Like a Refiner’s Fire

It’s almost Christmas Eve. I want to scoot ahead to the time of the Christmas celebration, but we aren’t there yet.

Today, in my Advent reflection, I read Malachi 3:1-3. I was especially struck by the words “For he is like a refiner’s fire . . . and he will purify . . . and refine them like gold and silver.” Yes, I am still waiting, as the practice of Advent encourages me to do. I am watching and waiting for the messenger of the covenant to prepare the way before me, true. But I’m afraid of that other image, too.

I understand the image of the refiner’s fire in principle. But I do not like going through the fire. It’s the being-refined-part that I object to. It hurts! Ow! What gives, God?
I’ve been there, especially in the past number of months with my employment situation. (or difficulty with, or total lack thereof) I understand that I am supposed to reflect God. I’ve heard the analogy of a silversmith melting silver in his shop. He knew that the molten silver had all the impurities taken away when he could see his face in the silver. Gee, silver must really get hot for that to happen! I guess that‘s similar to my situation(s). I earnestly am trying to be faithful, and to follow. Even when the situation’s too hot to handle.

Help me wait for the coming of the Baby in Bethlehem. Soon! Very soon!

Let’s pray. God, I try to follow You. I know You are there by my side, and Your purposes are good and gracious. I know You want me to be faithful, too. Even when I forget You’re there, or get angry because things aren’t going my way, or just get sick and tired of waiting for You. God, forgive me. Help me to continue to wait. Be with me when things get too hot to handle. Protect me when I’m being tried by fire. God, thanks for Your constant presence through every situation, even in this almost-Christmas, still-waiting time. Amen.