12 December, 2015

What's On Your Mind?

What's on my mind is not too holy!  I confess that my mind is occupied with present buying,
present wrapping, food and more food, plans, parties and finances!  This is the fight I daily battle in this Christmas season.  But through the writings of the last two weeks I have been encouraged to love God with all my heart and all my soul and now this week with all my mind.  Our words have perhaps challenged some but they may have also hung soundless in the corners of our brains.  For truly, how do we love God in these ways?  And certainly, in this week how can we possibly love God with our minds?

Maybe its all about what we see and what choice we make?  Let's go to the Christmas story.  The shepherds were in the fields working.  Their day was just as the one before - hard, grueling, tiresome with little pay perhaps.  I would bet they had family, responsibilities and worried about many things.  As the story goes these shepherds suddenly experienced a visit from an angel who displayed the "Glory of the Lord" and the shepherds were terrified. (Luke 2:9-10).  You may recall that there was a reference to the Glory of the Lord in Moses' day and in fact, this Glory was so overwhelming that Moses was not allowed to even look directly at the Glory for he would surely die (Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Exodus 33:18-20)

Was this the type of Glory the shepherds experienced?  Additionally, joining the one angel was a heavenly host of angels!  I don't really know how many angels appeared but if the one showed the Glory of the Lord I can only imagine what one plus a heavenly host would be like!  It was after this experience that the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."  Was this decision-making action TO GO an example of loving God with their whole mind?  For they made a decision, yes it would seem their hearts and souls had been stirred and their MIND took them to action.

Is my Christmas mind so stirred with God's glory in my life that I am making plans to love Him with my whole heart, soul and mind today?  Do I recognize his Glory as it shines all about me?  Or have I diminished His Glory to a to-do list full of unwanted and unneeded gifts?  For if I truly see and recall His appearance in my life....how can my mind have any choice but to run to Bethlehem?

I have a very dear friend who has recently moved back to her home in China.  While she was visiting the United States she learned about a spiritual world.  Never before in her life had she known that there was a Saviour born for her.  Never before in her life had she known His unconditional love and grace just for her.  But she met Him here and accepted His love.  In the few weeks leading up to her departure she began to express concern about her return and the lack of Christian fellowship available to her in China.  I expressed to her that our God was the God of the world not just the God of Alabama.  But oh, how easy for me to say as Bible-belt faith literally stands on every corner of our city.  And how different when you are one girl returning to a city of millions or one shepherd standing all alone in a field.  You've seen God but...will He show up in your normal life, that's the question your mind asks.

This week, I had a video call with my friend and one of the first things she shared was this story:
"While I was up feeding the baby, I thought I heard music playing from the apartment above me.  And the music seemed familiar.  I began to listen closely and finally could understand the music and recognized the sounds as Chinese christian worship songs.  I immediately alerted my husband so that he could listen too.  We were so excited and overwhelmed that we left our apartment and went to find this music.  I never thought I would hear such sounds in my apartment complex.  But Kathy, I am not alone.  He has gone before me.  He is here!"

She loved God with her heart and her soul and on this night she believed and loved with her mind.  She saw the Glory and her mind followed.

Through Bethlehem, He surely went and goes before us!  I want to remember His glory today and have my heart and soul and mind follow.

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