the Sweet Song of Advent…

December 21, 2013 § 6 Comments

Mom's Room “We matter to God. Inexplicably. Undeservedly. Even we dedicated Christians tend to forget this truth – or doubt it or altogether reject it – when we encounter trouble. It is difficult to understand why we matter, but we do. God is watching, listening to us, speaking promises into the cacophony of our worries and the certainty of their fulfillment into our most deeply buried hopes.”

Patty Kirk, Confessions of an Amateur Believer

For years I have been sitting here – at ‘my’ Starbucks – writing, reflecting, observing and praying.

In observing, I see weariness, weirdness, craziness and determination, in fellow regulars who have become friends I will likely never see outside these walls. And strangers. Strangers who walk by, and strangers who stop by.

We talk. Antlers

Many are desperately trying to survive and navigate the details of their lives. Some are actively searching, looking for meaning and purpose. They are in touch with their longings and can hear the music, but haven’t yet discovered the source.

All of them matter. Each was created in God’s Image, shattered though that Image may be by the fall. Not all have discovered the beauty of Jesus, but with tears, I hope each will.

As I write, my Mom is dying. She is a Christ-follower and woman of God, and when she passes I’ll write more. But on this the day of my sister’s 50th Birthday, my sense of awe is with her. Venus works in home health care and for a year she has relentlessly pursued a dignified setting for Mom’s passing.

The picture at the head of this post is of the bedroom she and my brother-in-law prepared for Mom in anticipation of her arrival. It isn’t merely a room with a bed, but a suite, with classical Christmas music playing, lovely family pictures, homey furnishings – and massive doses of love.

Mom is barely ‘here,’ and she can only communicate with a nearly undetectable whisper and nuanced facial expressions that we kids recognize as being uniquely ‘hers,’ yet this dying woman is being treated like a beautiful queen who has everything before her – and she is and she does.

She matters. You matter. We matter. God’s Image. How sweet.

The Advent longing is not a hopeless cry, but the song of redemption, a beautifully hopeful melody, whose music emanates from the humbleness of the manger and the conquest of the Cross, sung into the messy reality of our fallenness, which is precisely the point of Jesus’ entrance into the world.

It isn’t enough to say that God loves the broken. Stopping there leaves incomplete the fullness of the gospel. God not only loves the broken and has entered into our mess with forgiving grace, but amazingly, He also sees us as though we are perfectly whole – because in Jesus, we are.

Ornament

What good news of great joy…

peace on earth and good will to all.

§ 6 Responses to the Sweet Song of Advent…

  • Patty says:

    So very beautiful, Mike. Love to you and your sweet mom.

  • Chuck Ryor says:

    So sweet. Thanks for sharing, brother.

  • our prayers envelope you, thank you for your love of Christ and His gospel

  • Evelyn Hartway says:

    I know I should be rejoicing that Marie is on her final journey Home. But I just can’t. We’ve shared our Bible Studies and we’ve shared and encouraged each other with our broken bones and surgeries. She is my Christian sister; I don’t want her to be in pain and I don’t want her to leave us–so many of us who love her dearly. If I could say these things to her, I know she would tell me that it’s alright, she’s alright, that she’s ready to go, even looking forward in great anticipation. She would tell me to be happy for her, to rejoice with her. My mind understands, but my heart is crying.

  • palu1889 says:

    Dear Michael, Thank you for “this Post” about your precious Mother, Marie.  This morning when Marilyn and I heard about  your Mother’s Homegoing, we were saddened; then we started remembering how she lived her life in celebration as His child.   What started out as “doom and gloom” in our conversation ended up with joy and thanksgiving and laughter as well!  Well miss her.  Love, “Auntie” Sosie  

    ________________________________

  • shirleyredd says:

    Mike, I was out of the office when this post arrived in my work mail box. I just wanted to say that I am always touched in my heart about the things you write in your blog.

    Thank you for always offering the grace of God to us sinners who have found our hope in Jesus. I learned this morning that your mom had gone home to be with your Dad and most of all to be with Jesus as a Christ Follower. What a testimony and what a legacy she has left behind in you! God bless you and your family in your time of sorrow and rejoicing that she is finally home with your Dad and the Lord.

    God bless you and your family in the coming year. My life has been so much richer in having you as my pastor.

    Love in Christ,

    Shirley

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