Archive for December 12th, 2020

Breath of Heaven

Close your eyes, breathe, and clear your mind. Be still. Center your scattered senses on God’s presence.

REFLECTION: Written by Andrew Kukla, a contemporary author. This is an excerpt from a devotional he wrote about the song “Breath of Heaven.”

Mary received a visit from the angel Gabriel saying that she would conceive a child and give birth to a child who would be holy and be named the Son of God.  Mary had to figure out how to stay in relationship to a husband who was not father of her child, and had to journey to Bethlehem while pregnant and give birth in the most grueling of circumstances.  Mary  questions how she could do it, but also was humbly willing to serve – who responded to an unexpected calling with the simple but profound response “Let it be with me according to your will.” Mary went through a challenging sacrifice – and not because she signed up for it.  It is popular today to talk about serving in ways that you are gifted, that bring you pleasure, and that line up nicely with your gifts and talents.  And yet, this is hard to find in the biblical stories.  Mary didn’t sign up.  Mary didn’t feel gifted, and Mary only found the pleasure later… after the sacrifices… So many of our stories of faith are about unexpected people being called to serve in uncomfortable ways that end up fulfilling them.

She didn’t walk the path alone.  Her initial reactions are changed when Elizabeth rejoices at Mary’s pregnancy.  The community makes her see it all from a different perspective.  And the shepherds will give her more news that she will ponder and treasure.  Many people will encounter her and her story and when she sees the profound impact her life will have on them that which was a burden she could not imagine carrying became her greatest blessing. What burden are you carrying for the sake of others?  What burdens are we avoiding because we lack the imagination to believe we are the right person for the job?  How might God be calling us to just this kind of “sacrifice” which is actually great good news to all people… and blessings to our lives that we didn’t know we needed? Advent waiting and preparation – incarnation explosion… how is the Christ child wishing to be born through you this season in unexpected ways?

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 51:15-17

Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

Pause and meditate on the Scripture.

PRAYER:  From the Mozarabic Rite, a liturgical rite once used generally in the Iberian Peninsula, in what is now Spain and Portugal.  Developed during Visigoth rule in the 500s AD.

O Lord, let your mercy be upon us, and let the brightness of your Spirit illumine our inward souls, that he may kindle our cold hearts and enlighten our dark minds; who abides with you in glory forever. Amen.

Click on the link to see and hear the music video.

MUSIC VIDEO:  Amy Grant: Breath of Heaven

IMAGE: Painted by Connie McCoy of our church

Read Full Post »