Sunday, December 14, 2003

Advent Hope

You know I've been unfaithful
Lovers in lines
While you're turning over tables
With the rage of a jealous kind
I chose the gallows to the aisle
Thought that love would never find
Hanging ropes will never keep you
And your love of a jealous kind

- "Jealous Kind," from who we are instead, Jars of Clay
When we distance ourselves from the Lover of our souls, strangling ourselves in that familiar noose of self-recriminations and unanswerable questions, Jesus yet pursues us. We might be tempted to give up on ourselves -- and do just that -- a dozen times in a day, but he never does.

Who are the lovers to whom we turn for comfort? Success? The respect of others? Money? Sex? Power? It's all about money, sex and power, you know. Or is it?

One day he will appear. He will shine through the fog of our secrets like a blazing star, and we will really know for the first time just how deeply loved we are. We will see ourselves as he sees us, and we will drop our idols of guilt and the images of what we wish we were, and slip out of the noose. We will fall to our knees and raise our hands in gratitude.

Because we will understand. We will finally understand that his faithfulness and compassion more than compensate for all of our inadequacies, real or imagined. This will happen. And it could happen at any moment between now and the next breath.

This is the Advent Hope.

Christ have mercy.


Anonymous said...

I often get frustrated that i just can't appreciate the full extent of Christ's love for us so it's helpful to be reminded of the fact that seeing God face to face will reveal that knowledge.

I was sitting the other day imagining what would happen if He came right at this very moment. How much of what I value and crave would just cease to be important.

Kyle, thank you for reminding me of the Advent Hope.

Kyle said...

You're quite welcome, Jen. Thank you for reading, and for commenting, and laughing politely at my jokes. ;0)

bria_elaine said...

I heard an awesome lesson recently relating our faith to the hebrews in the desert. One part that really stuck, was why God gave the hebrews the law and then let them wander around and break it for 40 years. Basically what it came down to was that they were exposed- realizing they would never be able to, and exhausted- too tired to try anymore.

If I could only explain the yearning in my soul, the hunger to cry out in surrender, every moment. That bitter-sweet moment of surrender and hope. When we strive for brokenness, God uses us.

Brokenness is not failure, or quiting, it is giving it up to God, asking him to take the glass shards from clumsy hands and bring back the reflection of his glory you once held.

Condemnation is an idol, you are right. Wether you are thinking good or bad of yourself, you are still thinking of yourself and your idol has become yourself. I wish I could let it go easier.

On one more note, I would like to say that you don't start to neccessarily sin less as you grow in your faith, you learn to get over it quicker, to let go of the shame and condemnation, so that it doesn't get worse, and you can get on with your ministry and work.