Be Born…in Me “Be Born in Me” by Frances Battistelli is my favorite contemporary Christmas song of late. When I first heard it, it resonated deeply in my soul and spirit, and my mind couldn’t let go of it! The cry of Mary’s heart right after she learned that as an unwed teenager she was pregnant and about to become the mother of the Son of God…was, an astounding one: “I am the Lord’s servant…may it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38) WHAT? It’s easy to brush this off and say, “Of course she would respond like she was chosen by God to be the mother of King Jesus. Of course, God would give her the grace to respond that way. And, we might even think, “Shew, it’s a good thing I will never have to worry about my response to that kind of news! “ Yet, is it just for Mary? Are we not all carriers of King Jesus in a way? Is this not what CHRISTmas is all about? And, is not Advent a call to reevaluate ”the inn of our own hearts”? Emmanuel, God WITH US. Holy Spirit, Counselor, God in us! (John 15:26). What does this mean for you and me? What does it mean to allow Christ to be “born” in us? These lyrics in the song, say it all for me: “I am not brave, I'll never be. The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy. I'm just a girl, nothing more. But I am willing, I am Yours.” Much like Mary and Joseph, you and I have NOTHING to give God, but our willingness and a place in our own hearts. We can make room in the ”inn of our hearts” to receive Jesus and allow His power to work through us. We are NOT brave in and of ourselves, no good thing we do or are, can be good enough for our Holy God. YET, in the hands of Emmanuel--God with us; God in us--our hearts can become a place that God inhabits and thus new life is born. And in doing so, anywhere God sends us (or we just happen to beJ), we have His presence and power. As we cultivate awareness and ask the Holy Spirit to build our confidence in this reality, we can make more of an impact in others’ lives. In this Advent season, as we celebrate Jesus’ arrival, and as we experience the tension and yearning for the ”not yet” completion of His final coming, we have the opportunity to let God search our hearts and minds and point out any offensive way in us (Psalm 139:23-24). Isn’t it interesting that the scriptures specifically refer to ”anxious thoughts”? Perhaps, the biggest obstacle keeping Christ from being ”born in us,” is our inability or unwillingness to REST in the finished work of Jesus. Because you and I, as Christ followers, DO know the end of the story. He did come to save the world from sin and evil. This is THE GOOD NEWS of Christmas. We can allow the Holy Spirit to ready the ”inn of our hearts” for more of Jesus, by being honest with Him about our anxious thoughts (including our fears). This means more than just telling Him about them, but literally through prayer and repentance, handing them over to Him, so He can exchange them for His Peace, which is an indicator of His presence in our hearts. This is how you and I, simple folks like Mary and Joseph, can usher in more of His presence in every situation we are placed in. This excavation of our own hearts is how Jesus’ power and peace can be released into our hurting world. We can’t solve everyone’s problems, or our nation’s ills, but we CAN allow more room in our hearts for Christ to be “born in us.” Then we ARE doing our part to bring His solution into our world, one person at a time, one situation at a time. One person, allowing God to do what He desires in your heart…just like Mary…What a gift to give Jesus. Merry CHRISTmas to all!
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