The common thread, the story that’s hidden in Mary and Joseph’s lives is the gift of solitude, contemplation. We don’t see it emphasized in scripture, but I have to believe both Mary and Joseph took time each day to remove themselves from the noise of the secular world to ponder and ask God in the silence of their hearts for wisdom to know—and then the courage to do—what God asked of them.
The blessed ones who possess the Kingdom are they who have repudiated every external thing and have rooted from their hearts all sense of possessing. These are the “poor in spirit.”
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Two years ago, l became disillusioned with the church community. In my old church l had felt judged and ignored. Health issues had prevented me from attending church regularly here in Bochum and my few attempts to connect with people had been met with little response. I became disappointed and retreated from the community.
However, that evening l felt like l was a part of something. The same Christ that was in me, was in everyone here in this room. Tonight, we were all connected: l did not feel any rejection.
I tried to avoid conviction for a long time. But no matter how many excuses I could conjure up, I’d always end up facing the reality that I still fell short, that I was still a sinner. Conviction was just a harsh reminder of my failure to get better. What good could come from that? But as I studied the Scriptures, I began to see that they do not treat conviction as something to be avoided, but rather as a gift from God that draws us closer to Him.
Inasmuch as Christianity aligns with the nature of the created order and the supernatural revelation of God to his people, then the promotion of that good news to all people (that is, evangelism) and the application of those truths (activism) advances the flourishing of God’s creation even amid its fallenness.
Perhaps part of the solution to our current disorder might be to pray the news. It might sound simplistic, but prayer contains an energy like droplets of water that evaporate into the clouds and then shower back down upon us with the life-giving energy of love and compassion.