Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All Things New…

The Complete Green Letters
I am going to spend the four Wednesdays of Advent integrating thoughts on this season of preparation with meditations from
The Green Letters: Principles of Spiritual Growth  A Clarion Classic by Miles J. Stanford (you might want to get “The Complete Green Letters” also available here)
If you don’t have this on your bookshelf, I highly recommend it.  It’s a ‘Lifer’.  A Book that you will come back to over and over again.  My husband and I were introduced to it while we were in a year internship in Hungary through our Discipleship Leaders, ministering twenty plus years there which began during Communism and they have fed long and hard off
of it.

Week #1: Do I Believe?

Week #2: In the Fullness of Time…

Week #3: Beloved Child…

This was His glorious purpose.  The reason to leave all Heavenly Glory beyond imagining and take on frail, humble, poor.  To walk in all of the broken realities of a world gone hell-bent wrong and to do what only He could ever have done.  To be what only He could be.  His glorious purpose coming into being as his own bodily existence that night in Bethlehem.  To make All Things New…

Purpose’ is the title of the fourth chapter of ‘the Green Letters’ and it is taking me where I want to be in these days swollen with anticipation.  So close, we CANNOT WAIT and yet we must for Christmas to be all that it can be and that our longing hearts desire it to be.  For the coming to our deepest places giving birth to All Things New…


The chapter begins looking squarely and deeply at the utter failure of ‘the First Adam’.  All of history and humanity lived under this condemnation with sacrifice and ritual as the skin of faith.  A Holy Spirit mediated through a flawed priesthood with crippled souls, hearts, minds, and wills making desperate pleas for another way.  For All Things New…

“’God…has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son…who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person’ (Hebrews 1:1-3)


“Our Heavenly Father is still carrying out His purpose of making man in His image.  Although His original purpose is the same, He is not using the original man to bring it about. All is now centered in the last Adam, our Lord Jesus.” (p.24)

This is why the purposeful quiet of Advent must lead to Him.  As we wait and let go, shedding the skins of self-reliance, self-righteousness, self-worth, self-etc…we face the First Adam we inherit at birth square in the face.  We see it for the decaying thing that it is.  As Eustace in ‘Voyage of the Dawn Treader’, we are brought face to face with the dragon-likeness of our ugly parts and we are desperate for Him.  He hears our cries and sends a Saviour, born into time and space as the One, the Only One, to make All Things New…
“One of God’s most effective means in the process is failure…Failure where self is concerned in our Christian life and service, is allowed and often engineered by God in order to turn us completely from ourselves unto His Source for our life—Christ Jesus, who never fails.” (p.25)
And this is how all of that swiftly swallowing current of busyness and here and there and everywhere that often rules the day and stands in square contrast to Advent can itself be a blessing.  As we align our hearts with His coming, especially in a time when we can so easily be given to a million other things, our fallings and failures can be that extra blessing because they increase our desperation and stir our hunger.  ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel. And ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appears..’ Come, Emmanuel, We long for the waters to pour over us…we long for All Things New…
“As we, in our abject need, consistently and lovingly look upon our Lord Jesus revealed to us in the Word, the Holy Spirit will quietly and effortlessly change the center and source of our lives from self to Christ—hence for each of us it will be, ‘Not I, but Christ’” (p.25)

This is the gift of waiting.  Of Stilling.  Of Simplifying.  Of Clearing.  Of Advent Itself.  Of Life Itself.  Of Him.  May these final days of waiting for the glories of Christ be ones of failure and need embraced so that as we celebrate in our churches, homes and hearts His coming, it will be to selves come naked with nothing to stand in the way of His touch.  Of All Things New…


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