Tag Archives: space

Elizabeth iii #adventbookclub

Luke 1:39-45 (CEV)

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 A short time later Mary hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea. 40 She went into Zechariah’s home, where she greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby moved within her.

The Holy Spirit came upon Elizabeth. 42 Then in a loud voice she said to Mary:

God has blessed you more than any other woman! He has also blessed the child you will have. 43 Why should the mother of my Lord come to me? 44 As soon as I heard your greeting, my baby became happy and moved within me.45 The Lord has blessed you because you believed that he will keep his promise.

 She came.  And I knew.  I know we women often have an inkling when someone is pregnant, but this was different.  I knew from the depth of my being.  It was like my baby knew too.  Recognised something in Mary, something special, something happening, something growing, something of God.  God is about to do something spectacular, and somehow Mary and I are caught up in this.  Our babies are not just miraculous, but the very essence of God, living in us now, but soon to be living and breathing in the world.

Stephen Cottrell uses the phrase, “Fire in by belly” (p77).  I like that.  That sends my thought off.

though we cannot all birth you,
we can each carry your life within us;

may I make space for you,
allow you to change my life,
and prepare me for what is to come.

Be the ‘fire in my belly’
I pray.

 Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent.  Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page

True Power

A very wise previous Minister of ours once gave me some excellent advice.  When I said how nervous I was about preaching, his reply was, “If you weren’t nervous, you should go home, because it isn’t important enough to you”.  We live in a world obsessed with training, being equipped for every possible eventuality.  This is not necessarily a bad thing – much damage is done sometimes by those who think they know what they are doing.  But there also needs to be space in life for vulnerability and weakness, and for God to get a look in where things aren’t over-engineered so he has no room to move.

1 Corinthians 2:1-16 (CEV)

Telling about Christ and the Cross

Friends, when I came and told you the mystery that God had shared with us, I didn’t use big words or try to sound wise. In fact, while I was with you, I made up my mind to speak only about Jesus Christ, who had been nailed to a cross.

At first, I was weak and trembling with fear. When I talked with you or preached, I didn’t try to prove anything by sounding wise. I simply let God’s Spirit show his power. That way you would have faith because of God’s power and not because of human wisdom.

We do use wisdom when speaking to people who are mature in their faith. But it isn’t the wisdom of this world or of its rulers, who will soon disappear. We speak of God’s hidden and mysterious wisdom that God decided to use for our glory long before the world began. The rulers of this world didn’t know anything about this wisdom. If they had known about it, they would not have nailed the glorious Lord to a cross. But it is just as the Scriptures say,

“What God has planned
    for people who love him
is more than eyes have seen
    or ears have heard.
It has never even
    entered our minds!”

10 God’s Spirit has shown you everything. His Spirit finds out everything, even what is deep in the mind of God. 11 You are the only one who knows what is in your own mind, and God’s Spirit is the only one who knows what is in God’s mind. 12 But God has given us his Spirit. That’s why we don’t think the same way that the people of this world think. That’s also why we can recognize the blessings that God has given us.

13 Every word we speak was taught to us by God’s Spirit, not by human wisdom. And this same Spirit helps us teach spiritual things to spiritual people. 14 That’s why only someone who has God’s Spirit can understand spiritual blessings. Anyone who doesn’t have God’s Spirit thinks these blessings are foolish. 15 People who are guided by the Spirit can make all kinds of judgments, but they cannot be judged by others. 16 The Scriptures ask,

“Has anyone ever known
the thoughts of the Lord
    or given him advice?”

But we understand what Christ is thinking.

Weak and trembling, Paul delivers his message.  He recognises that he has no skilful words or wisdom to offer; he only has God’s Spirit.  Any wisdom, and power, any strength, comes only from and through God.

True power comes from our weakness and our leaving plenty of room for God to do his thing.   Ultimately it is not about what we can do, but about what we allow God to do in and through us.  It is not about us having the “right” words or responses, but allowing space in our lives for God to, not being so full of our own clever answers that there is no room for God to speak what he knows is needed.  I think that is an important thing for each of us to remember, wherever we are and whatever we are doing.  I have nothing to say, God has everything.  My words should not be my carefully crafted and elaborate ones, but the ones God gives to me.  Whatever I do, I do only by the power of God’s Spirit.

Forgive me Lord,
for the times when I think
I can do
a brilliant job,
that I have beautiful words,
and stand in my strength.

May I remember always
to stand in your power,
to being your words,
to show your love.

You Are My All In All

Weak and trembling may I stand,

for you are my all

Space to Worship #adventbookclub – Day 33

Holding a New Life By Orest

25 I am at the point of death.
    Let your teachings
    breathe new life into me.
26 When I told you my troubles,
you answered my prayers.
    Now teach me your laws.
27 Help me to understand
    your teachings,
    and I will think about
    your marvelous deeds.
28 I am overcome with sorrow.
    Encourage me,
    as you have promised to do.
29 Keep me from being deceitful,
    and be kind enough
    to teach me your Law.
30 I am determined to be faithful
    and to respect your laws.
31     I follow your rules, Lord.
    Don’t let me be ashamed.
32 I am eager to learn all
    that you want me to do;
    help me to understand
    more and more.

I am going to leave this Psalm as a wonderful prayer to soak deep into my life.

The Wise Men

When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and said, “Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

And to seek God, that I may worship him

O Come Let Us Adore Him

(And Maggi has something very important to say about asking the difficult questions)

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.