I breathe in, I breathe out…

“The letters of the name of God in Hebrew… are infrequently pronounced Yahweh. But in truth they are inutterable….

This word {YHWH} is the sound of breathing.

The holiest name in the world, the Name of Creator, is the sound of your own breathing. That these letters are unpronounceable is no accident. Just as it is no accident that they are also the root letters of the Hebrew verb ‘to be’… God’s name is name of Being itself.”

~Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

Source – Ann Voskamp

 http://www.aholyexperience.com/ann-voskamp/

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Behind the Scenes

“Child of God, wake up! Week after week desperate people come to our homes and services looking for God. We talk a good game and we flaunt the trappings and traditions of our religion, but when they pull back the curtain, what do they find? Is there a God enthroned in your house? Is there a God enthroned in your church? Or are we only offering the world an old man who practices theatrics? I want the glory of God in the Church!”

– Zach Neese
How to Worship a King

It was a dirty job

“And while they were there, the time came for the baby to be born. And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. And she wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

(Luke 2:6-7)

As we get closer to Christmas, we began to hear the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus.. As a amazing story it is, sometimes I think we forget, to show that it wasn’t this clean nice smelling barn, but that it was a messy place.. This is my favorite way of telling the Christmas story..

God had this messy plan…a plan to save the world, and to do that he was going to send his son. Where does the God of the universe send his son? Where does the King of Kings and Lord of Lords come? To a barn…a stable…a manger of all places! Certainly no place fit for a king. But then again, this wasn’t any ordinary king.

When I say it was messy, I mean it was messy. It was a barn, a stable. So you’ve got animals and animal…stuff, manure and mud. A pitiful place  for people, much less the King of Kings, to be born. Why would God do that? Well, I can’t tell you for sure, because the prophet Isaiah tells us that his thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. But that same prophet, 400 years before, said “All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us to our own way and that the Lord has laid our  iniquities on him.” (Isaiah 53:6) You see, Jesus came to a messy place. A barn, well, yes that’s messy. But he came to a messy world. Why? Because the shepherd was coming to take care of his sheep and to prepare a way for his sheep to go home. That’s what a shepherd does. He lives where the sheep are, he sleeps where they sleep and he eats where they eat… That got Jesus in trouble… Why did Jesus eat with the sinners? That’s what a shepherd does…

A angel appeared to the shepherds in the field and said “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12). A sign.. Have you ever wondered what that sign was?.. A sign for what?.. Maybe a sign that Jesus, is assailable to everyone.. A sign that the God who owns a cattle on a thousand hills can relate to a homeless person.. because Jesus never had a home, never had a place to rest his head.. Maybe it was a sign it was a sign that God would have nothing to do with the social status of man kind, a sign he detest the splendor of humans because it’s not worthy of him, but it was a sign for us, that we should follow suit. In fact the apostle Paul would later on write that we should have the same attitude as Christ Jesus although he was the very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself a servant being made in human likeness..

A servant.. you see being a servant is messy and Jesus set this incredible example for us, he got down on his knees and he washed feet.. The God of the universe, the God who deserved the best of everything, got on his knees, he is the God who came to the world, he was laid in a manger.. a feed trough of all places.. Why such a messy place.. because he was following a messy plan

So needless to say that very first Christmas was dirty…it was grimy…it was filthy. But thank God it was, because without it what a mess we’d be in!