Friday, November 14, 2014
Based on Hebrews 10:1-18, Psalm 125:1-5, Ezekiel 19:1-20:49.
How blessed are we to have been chosen to be sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ. Thank You for revealing our Passover Lamb, that His sacrifice is able to cover everyman's sin, that His New Life is available for everyone on the earth -- that He came to reverse the curse, and He reversed it. May many many others be granted eyes to see and hear this inestimably Good News!
Why then does every priest still stand ministering daily and offering the same sacrifices which can never take away sins? For Christ, by one offering, has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us, saying, "I will write My laws into their hearts and in their minds I will write them." You remember our iniquities no more, and there remission of sin. That is why I offer thanks and praise for His death and resurrection! It is accomplished for me and in me and through me. My daily sacrifice is one of grateful thanksgiving, praise shown in daily dying to myself, surrendering this vessel to You, GOD, who lives in me, increasing as I will allow.
Gratefully I remember Your death and resurrection for me and for all men, Your substitutionary sacrifice, and I accept it; I receive it; and I thank You for it. You have given me a new heart and mind, and you have connected me to the others who are Your people. These are divine connections, and I thank You whole-heartedly for them! Thank You for surrounding us, Your people whom You have made good, those who are upright in our hearts because You who have done it, LORD, not we ourselves. It is You who takes away the first law to establish the second, by which we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all.
You did not come to found a religion! Therefore, we no longer serve wood and stone with our eyes fixed on our fathers' idols. In You and by Your Holy Spirit in us, we make holiness our aim, allowing You lead our lives, following You in every relationship -- our friendships, our food, our clothes, our opinions, our choices. Thank You for making it clear that we are responsible and accountable solely for our little lives, not for the choices of others, especially those who are spiritually blind, or still wandering in the wilderness, or lost at sea. Thank You for the doors You have opened for us to speak Your Truth in love, at the same time assuring us the results are up to You. I embrace Your assurance that all I can do is all I can do, and I cannot force blind people to see when they cannot see with their natural senses.
Thank You for saying,"Don't shove the Dove," yet, at the same time, urging us to bring these beloveds to You in prayer. And so we do, trusting that You are able to reveal Yourself in Your perfect timing, in Your perfect, custom-tailored way. Thank You for relieving us of responsibility for any other person's choices, for helping us respect other peoples' dignity, even when they go against You simply because knowing ABOUT You is not the same thing as knowing You personally and having have not the guidance of Your Holy Spirit to lead through life.
I cannot express the gratitude I have for Your bringing me out of Egypt into Your land flowing with milk and honey... for Your teaching me to throw away the abominations that were before my eyes... for Your revealing the idols of Egypt and freeing me to see You and hear You and follow You no matter what. Now I am careful to seek Your counsel in everything, and I rejoice to learn that my living sacrifice is to You a sweet aroma. Therefore, I say on this morning of November, "Ah, LORD GOD! They say of me, does she not speak in parables?"
Metaphor Mama, our son calls me. It makes my heart leap for joy and laugh with gladness and even, I must admit, sheer hilarity. It is awesome that, as the mountains surround Jerusalem, O LORD, so You surround us, Your people from this time forth and forever. How blessed are we!
This photograph is by Liz Burnell.