Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas: God with Us

“But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.” - 1 John 2:20-21

The end of the year brings about a lot of rejoicing and celebration amid the holidays; however, it can also magnify the restless places in our hearts: our sense of loneliness, our desire for more, questioning of where we are in life or perhaps our desire to find a sense of home – in our families, among a community, in our working lives, in a romantic relationship, or simply in our hearts.

I have so much to be thankful for this year - many blessings, gifts, and even the saving grace of God as I endured a serious car accident and only walked away with minor injuries - and while the joy of Christmas fills my heart and the anticipation of renewal in the New Year is present, I can’t help but still hear the evil spirit creeping in, saying, “Next year will be the same as the last, nothing will change…save yourself the time and energy and just give up trying to search for all that you desire.” I find it easy to give into this voice of despair on both a conscious and subconscious level, but the gift of the Christmas season beckons me beyond this darkness toward the promising light of the baby Jesus.

As I take in today’s readings, I recognize many of God’s simple and subtle invitations amid the restlessness within my own heart. 1 John reminds me that I have been not only loved and created by God, but faithfully anointed. A deeper look at the meaning of this word opens up God’s present invitation: “to consecrate or make sacred; to dedicate to the service of God.” Perhaps I am being invited to embrace the ways I am already sacred. God invites me to rest in this: “you are sacred…you are my beloved….that is enough for me.” I am invited to a deeper peace in knowing that one of the greatest ways to serve God is to embrace this notion in the deepest depths of my being- in the marrow of my bones and sinew of my muscle. I recognize this is the ongoing invitation of my spiritual journey- to come home to this over and over again.

I am reminded that the joy of my being is deeply rooted in whom God has created me to be and has less to do with what I do, who I know, or if I have it all “figured out.” God desires my very heart. The more that I let this soak in, the more that my longings for all that I wish was present gently subsides. My restless desires don’t go away completely, but I feel less panicked or worried about how all will unfold in the coming year. God further invites me to recognize that I have “all knowledge and truth” with me here and now. I know enough to be fully in this moment and trust that God has and will be with me revealing each next step as necessary in the coming days, weeks, and year to come. My heart is opened…..can I trust this? Can I rest in God’s promise knowing all that I am and my present moment in life is enough?

As you look to the coming year, what is most present in your heart? Invite God to show you how His anointing is present in these areas of your life. Listen and allow God’s words to soak deeply into your every part of your being.
Reflected by Elena Mireles-Hill

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