This Week's Watchword
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people and
Monday's Text, December 7
Clothe yourselves with the new self,
created according to the likeness of God in
true righteousness and holiness.
Everything looks better when seen as a gift. Starting a daily examen with how we have received God's grace always seems more promising because perceiving life as gift, is apart, if not a requisite, of actually receiving God's love for ourselves and embodying grace to others. Most do not see their lives as a gift or a blessing. And that's why the therapeutic is so popular these days in and out of churches. We need healing to be able to see our life as gift, especially in the places where we feel cursed.
The Song of Zechariah, or the Benedictus in Luke 1:68ff., is a song declaring the dawn of God's tender mercy (1:78). This dawn of light is God's gift of mother-womb-love, a compassion from the gut not the head or even the heart. Does anatomy matter here? Those who are too heady and purpose- conscious, and those who are tossed by the shades of emotion and passion are taught by the faith of John the Baptizer's father, Zechariah. He's not talking about God's too big plan- he's taking about God's "daddy-ness."
We do not, finally surrender to an idea, a divine mover. The fire of our will rises and falls because we will always be filled with unfulfilled good intentions. But to throw yourself into the arms of God's tender mercy? Mom's arms? Like being clothed after the birthing of our baptism, the imperative in Ephesians 4 is to grow the new species, God's very image in us, first begun in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The work of God's righteousness (right relationship) and holiness (set-apartness) begun by God in us, deepens with our full agreement and surrender to God's love in Jesus.
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