Saturday, December 27, 2014

And talk of poems, prayers and promises, and things that we believe in

Sing to the LORD a new song, for He has done marvelous things. With His right hand and His holy arm has He won for Himself the victory. Psalm 98:1

 So yesterday I decided to do the Big After Christmas Clean Up. Somehow it is ever so satisfying to wrap up the old beloved stories, whether they be The Grinch or the blue angel with “Christie 1964” painted on the hem with gold paint or the Sunday School Andrea ornament with her photo glued onto the lid of an orange juice can and a red rickrack loop to hang it on the tree.

And prepare for the new. The new song.

And He has indeed done marvelous things. But as Mary Anne and I sat next to the fireplace yesterday morning and considered the victory in His outstretched hand, sometimes it looks like a mustard seed. And as I look around the world and consider the big global prayers offered up and as I look at my immediate and intimate world of friends and relatives, I can see that tiny seed reaching down its roots into the rich soil of His love and a promise.

And I really only know one person who uses the word “marvelous,” Joy who was diagnosed in one stunning overnight with pancreatic cancer that had spread to liver.  Her prayers of faith for healing brought a peace that descended down around her like a golden blanket and I wonder, since I have only received one text from her since her move to Ohio, what is happening in her life. Every week at family dinner she would ask me what new thing happened in the classroom, and I would tell her a little story or lesson plan or discussion and she would roll, “Marvelous, simply marvelous.”

And this year has been so very full of stories, and all of God's promises have been fulfilled with a resounding "Yes!" And our "Amen" ascends to God for His glory. Through Christ, His Word comes to dwell among men. And Alan’s Christmas meditation reminded us that each of us is part of The Story rippling its way through humanity, and each of us chooses how to respond, whether in concert or opposition to the unfolding events. And he quoted John F. Kennedy (after Cameron and Heather read Luke one and two, of course) who said that when the word “crisis” is written in Chinese, it is composed of two characters, one that represents “danger” and the other “opportunity.”

And each of us told a story, a story of crisis this year, or a moment of transition or transformation, and its effect. How does this tie into the work of God in our life? What have we learned through this dangerous opportunity? And the stories covered the full spectrum of loss, of rejection, of discovery. And each one had at least whispers of hope in His goodness. The seeds have been planted, the promised victory is taking root. And let me sing a new song of blessing.

Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: “Blessed be the Lord, for He has visited His people, He has set them free, that He would grant us, free from fear, to be delivered from the hands of our enemies, to serve Him in holiness and uprightness in His presence, all our days.” Luke 1:67–75

And I welcome Him into my newly swept parlor, with anticipation, expectation and a good deal of curiosity as to where it will all lead. All of my days.