December 25 – Day 25
Ornament – Baby Jesus
Thank you for joining this ADVENTure! I so hope through it, you’ve found Him in spots you haven’t before and sites you haven’t searched in a long time.
I pray He is resonating in every room and that your senses are awake, aware and recognizing Him, within your walls and beyond your borders!
When I first began blogging about Advent, years ago, I was homed at Haven. We still had littles, and I hunted and pecked my way through spills, squabbles, schooling and sweeping. And it was sacred, finding Him in places that felt full and things to do and tasks to tend.
Here, I read the words I wrote about Jesus then, knowing I’ve changed and grown much since then, yet He still meets me in my messy mundane and moments of marvel. For that reason, I felt to leave this day, as it was originally, with a little added at the end. I’ve been so joyed in this journey!
Today, our portion from the Jesse tree story, is Jesus. Jesus. I am flooded and drought stricken at the same time. What words do I use? It isn’t that I have never written about Him, spoken of Him. But today, I long to wrap it in as tender as a package as He arrived in. Yet, I feel rumbly and fierce. I am in complete opposition to myself. Grrrrr.
I want to be sweet and eloquent in describing the indescribable. I want the dam to break so every word, thought and feeling I have ever held for Him could flood the world. Sentences, paragraphs, chapters and volumes, could be filled with it and it would not, could not be enough.
And so, I will simply share what was in my heart when I awakened and still pounds hours later.
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:1-4
Broken and crushed I find myself. My most dreaded verse. It began with being unable to imagine how it could ever be spoken or prophesied that there was no beauty that would cause Him to be desired. He is beauty itself. Lovely. Wonderful. Magnificent. He is words not yet created.
Then the moment came when I realized how I have fulfilled it myself. Maybe you have too. In Isaiah’s description of Jesus, He is covered by our sin. My sin. The world would not be able to see Him, not really. Not beneath the dust and dirt and grime. Weeping and typing, barely held together right now.
Understand that my torment is not here because of what I have done. It is for each and every moment, I allow myself to be separate from Him when I see Him covered in my sin, instead of washed and shining like the sun, because of who He is and what He chose.
Born in a cave, hung on a tree and from a cave reborn. Fulness. Completion. Well, complete when I allow it to be.
And most the time, almost every time, I do. But fleeting and few are the times I am the Shulamite in Song of Songs.
Torment of Separation
I have come into my garden,my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk.
Eat, friends, and drink;
drink your fill of love.
2 I slept but my heart was awake.
Listen! My beloved is knocking:
“Open to me, my sister, my darling,
my dove, my flawless one.
My head is drenched with dew,
my hair with the dampness of the night.”
3 I have taken off my dress—
must I put it on again?
I have washed my feet—
must I soil them again?
4 My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening;
my heart began to pound for him.
5 I arose to open for my beloved,
and my hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with flowing myrrh,
on the handles of the bolt.
6 I opened for my beloved,
but my beloved had left; he was gone.
My heart sank at his departure.[a]
I looked for him but did not find him.
I called him but he did not answer.
7 The watchmen found me
as they made their rounds in the city.
They beat me, they bruised me;
they took away my cloak,
those watchmen of the walls!
8 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you—
if you find my beloved,
what will you tell him?
Tell him I am faint with love.
9 How is your beloved better than others,
most beautiful of women?
How is your beloved better than others,
that you so charge us?
Admiration by the Bride
10 My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
outstanding among ten thousand.
11 His head is purest gold;
his hair is wavy
and black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves
by the water streams,
washed in milk,
mounted like jewels.
13 His cheeks are like beds of spice
His lips are like lilies
dripping with myrrh.
14 His arms are rods of gold
set with topaz.
His body is like polished ivory
decorated with lapis lazuli.
15 His legs are pillars of marble
set on bases of pure gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
choice as its cedars.
16 His mouth is sweetness itself;
he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved, this is my friend,
daughters of Jerusalem.
Utterly wrung out when I read His words to her: “I have taken off my garment, How can I put it on again? I have washed my feet. How can I dirty them again?“ In fulness, “How could you suppose that you could defile what is made clean? Why do you try and bury what has been resurrected?”
Kleenex stock has just risen wildly, thanks to me. He reached for her, but she couldn’t see Him past her own condition. There was nothing lovely about Him because He was covered in her dusty despair. The torment was self-inflicted.
But then she remembered, as I do in those grieved moments, awaiting joy. She remembered Him. Who He had become, to her. And her heart’s desire was that everyone else, whether they had waited with her for her beloved or been the heavy hands that added oppression to her tormented heart, would see Him too. For He was, He is, wholly desirable. When I see, when I remember, when I return, when I complete the picture Heaven has painted.
For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him. Col0ssians 1:19
Fulness. I have looked the meaning of this word up and written it down more times than I can count. I did it again today. But as He always does, He revealed what I hadn’t seen before. In the New Testament, the body of believers, is “that which is filled with the presence, power, agency and riches of God and of Christ” and this rings loudly as a definition of fulness.
I am rich. I am wealthy. I am redeemed. He is Here. He is Now. Together we are completely resurrected and wholly desirable.
For it was not our sin that was applied, but our selves. A people seizing salvation, without the knowing of our need.
We, not upon His skin, but beneath it.
He could not simply accept our sin upon Him. Our anchored Advocate had to become the scandal. Had to be with us at its very inception. At the crest of crime.
He needed to be at sin’s surface. At the origin of our offense.
A participant as if it was His wrong, because we are His right. In order to never be separated, He was God with us, even then.
We, the wretched we, filled every sense of Him. He saw, smelled, tasted and felt weighted into Him; the shame, the remorse, the resist, the regret. Invaded to His entirety, He clung. To us.
Our pity, His price.
Only under His skin, could the extravagant experience occur. For every tempt and trial, struggle and strain, He welcomed us into Himself. That we would experience resurrection and return.
With Him, tethered to the tattered, we could see our aimless arrows pierce His hands, wound His feet and shatter His heart. Arranged archers. Confounded culprits, there, hoped to the happening, of His wound and heal.
For when a tree is grafted, both portions are cut and then attached at the wound. Lingered at the lesion. Torn at His tear, for the fulfillment of found.
I am a shipwreck upon His shore over this. I can’t get over it. Ever. He joined us to Himself. Forever. So fond of us, so devoted. Blood spilled in an act of affection. His ruin, our return. The Relentless Reminder refuses to let me go.
In this Advent season, I have found myself at a tree, our Christ tree, freshly wounded by the love He gives, so freely and fully. Tethered at the tree, He has been taking the tinsel off, baring my branches. Here, He sees right through me, yet grafts me into His line, adhering me to the Vine. Victory comes to the vulnerable. He is my advocate, so I can abdicate all that hinders ands harnesses awe. I am grounded. In glory.
I want to life a life so pierced by light, I am unafraid to dance in the dark.
For all He was born to bring. For all He died to save.
Cradle. Cross. Cave. Crown.
He who never leaves. He who ever remains. He who sifts and sorts, unafraid of what He will find in me. Unashamed of what He will take from me.
He takes my hand. He holds my heart. He looks at me, like He can’t live without me. He loves me, like I can’t live without Him.