The Gift: A Story for Advent – Part Five

The Gift - A Story for Advent

During the month of December I have the honor of sharing a beautiful piece of writing with you.  A dear friend in ministry, Audrey McCormick, wrote this story a few years ago.  She read part of it at a church service recently and I knew I had to share it with you.  I thought I would share it to celebrate this Advent season – as we prepare to remember the birth of Jesus this Christmas time.

However much I love Christmas, with all the decorations, baking, Christmas parties, songs, dressing up and delicious food, Christmas to me is about so much more.  It is a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  For many of you this is just a ‘nice story’ that gets mixed in with all the other celebrations.  For me and Captain America it is a special birthday, one like no other.  It is a ‘story’ full of miracles, of prophecies fulfilled, one that demands the response of a relationship with a real man, who lived and walked upon this earth in order that we could live our life to the fullest and fulfill our destiny.  It is a story of truth.

So read on, think on these words, let them wash over you and fill your soul

Desire

Desire drips from the bottom of God’s heart.  I can see it thick like honey and red like blood.  It squeezes through the cracks of heaven and falls to the earth below.  Moment by moment He falls more deeply in love with me.  His love fills the atmosphere and I can feel the songs of heaven moving.  His Desire is for me, and like a storm, His heart it is stirring.  The air is filled with longing and I am clothed with passion as He pulls me into the purpose for which I was created— to dwell in depths of love that cannot be related. 

Jesus walked the earth with the Desire of God burning in His heart.  It led Him down the narrow path to the cross where He died so that, eternally, I could live.  Now, in uninterrupted intimacy, I can get lost in the bliss of dancing with the King.  Jesus is the Gift that was dedicated to bridge the chasm between Earth and Eternity. 

Did Mary feel the Desire of God surrounding Jesus like a wildfire on the day that she brought Him into the Temple for dedication?  His purpose and identity were carved into Eternity, and the prophetic words must have been whispering and dancing around Him.  A shadow of the things to come must have brooded over her as the heart of God embraced the Gift in her arms that would release pure love when opened.  The purpose for His life would be fulfilled only in the way that He would die, and though this heavenly truth must have pushed against her soul, she probably didn’t understand it.  She walked in Faith where only pieces of Truth are set in place to pave the way.  Dedication to God is what brought her the honor of holding His Son.  And dedication is what brought her to the altar where two turtledoves had been slain to pave the way for her Infant King.  The Gift for All Men was in her care, and the gift she gave that day was her choice to let it be opened. 

Exuberance must have shined from the face of Simeon as he hastily came to lift the Holy Child to God.  He took Him in his arms, and blessed God, and said, “My eyes have seen Thy Salvation, which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a Light of Revelation to the Gentiles, and the Glory of Thy people, Israel!”  In amazement Mary must have watched as the truth spoken agreed with the whispers dancing in the air surrounding Him.  The Darling of Heaven must have been shrouded with the glory of God’s Desire as He was lifted high for dedication.

A foreshadowing of the Great Sacrifice must have washed through Mary as Simeon continued to speak directly to her—

“Behold, this Child has been appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— and a sword will pierce even your own soul— to the end that the hearts of many may be revealed.”                   

And as the words left Simeon’s mouth to land in her soul, she must have felt the slicing hand of God lifting from her hands the One who would fulfill the Desire of His Heart.  Jesus was dedicated.  A sense of the end in the beginning, probably rinsed her mind with understanding as the blood of turtledoves dripped from the altar, and her Beloved rested in the hands of another. 

Peering through His heart to see all mysteries, I asked to understand the Excellence of Jesus.  Blind eyes were exchanged for some that could see and I was swept away to be placed on the hill at Calvary.

Jesus was there before me.  I could hear people wailing, and I could hear some of them jeering.  He was nailed down, but He had not yet been raised up.  He lied upon the splintered cross like a mangled mess and blood covered His swollen body.  My heart felt like it was being shredded as I stared.  He breathed in grating agony and Darkness swirled through the atmosphere.  Demons were salivating for His death.  Suffocating in Darkness, I was reminded me of the days when I walked as a woman dying— before I had my Savior, Jesus.  Since my rescue, the familiar Sorrow had not been free to coil around my neck in the way that it was as I watched Him agonizing.  I knew that comfort could be found only in Him.  My King, my Savior was there before my eyes and Desire consumed me like a wild fire.  Running to the cross, without inhibition, I fell to the ground by His side to be with Him.  In selfish greed, I lied down to take from Him what I needed.  All of my comfort and all of my hope lives in Him.  Nothing had changed— regardless of the moment or the circumstance, He was my still my Savior and my Prince of Peace.  Groping for justice in the horrific mess, I came to realize that it was adamant for Him to agonize.  The whole purpose of His life was to die, and to be the perfect sacrifice.  All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, and I could see with my eyes, that the Lord had caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him (Isaiah 53:6).  In that moment, I could see that the gift I could give, to comfort my Redeeming King, would be me… as always.  I needed to be in His gaze with my head in His hand because this is the way He holds me.   I understood that my desire to be held first came from His desire to hold me. 

His hand upon my face calms the storms of my heart, and peace floods my soul as I lean into His touch.  In His gaze I find rest.  I love the way He sees me.  I love those eyes. They hold a reflection of me that reveals beauty.  Under His gaze my shadows flee away and peace scoops my heart into a place of rest.  I get lost in the eyes that found me… I get lost in the eyes that will never lose me.       

I am my Beloved’s, and His Desire is for me (Song of Song 7:10).  As I lied by His side, with His hand under my head, I knew that He was seeing the joy set before Him.  I was His gift.

It probably wasn’t until the day of His exaltation that Mary understood the soul piercing love encased in her Son.  Dedicated to display the depths of God’s heart, He walked the earth preparing to die.  With eyes fixed on the prize, He travelled straight to the cross where He would agonize to obtain the Desire of God—uninterrupted Love and perfect intimacy.  And when the sword pierced His side to open the way for Redemption blood to spill and Living water to gush, she must have felt her own soul cry out as He was magnified.  The Gift she had given was finally opened and Eternal life poured forth to fill the souls of the hungry and the needy.   

I am my Beloved’s and His desire is for me (Song of Solomon 7:10).  His hand upon my face calms the storms of my heart, and peace floods my soul as I lean into His touch.  In His gaze I find rest.  I love the way He sees me.  I love those eyes.  In His gaze my shadows flee away and peace scoops my heart into a place of safety. 

Dedicated to His purpose I rest my head in His hand and I understand that wherever He is, there I will be, because only in those eyes will I find perfect peace.   

And as the sword went into His side, to open the way for the Redemption Blood to flow, she felt it pierce her own soul.    

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