Wednesday, Dec. 11 – Matt Walters

11 Dec

Wednesday, Dec. 11 – Peace

Today’s Scripture:
Isaiah 9:1-7; Luke 2:14

Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak but He is strong.

Earlier this fall, during a spiritual retreat at Mepkin Abbey–the same Trappist monastery Eddie mentioned yesterday, and a place I now consider to be holy ground–God initiated a work of healing and renewal in my life that has entirely changed my perspective on His character, my identity, and the nature of true peace. That work started with a simple revelation: Jesus loves me.

I say simple, because like most life-altering spiritual revelations, the words themselves seem rather trite when I write them out. After all, I’ve sung them dozens of times in Bible-School nursery rhymes, the very same songs I’m now teaching my son Luke. “Jesus loves me.” But do I truly know that? Do you?

I confess, since my coming-of-age as a self-aware sinner, I’ve always had trouble grasping the idea that Jesus might like me, let alone love me. What with all my shortcomings, all my sin-blindness, all my regrets, my fears. “For God so loved the world…” Yes, of course. In a theoretical, collective sense, sure, I can grasp that God loves humanity, even enough to send his Son to redeem us. But love me, individually? How could he?

Something changed in my heart at Mepkin, though, during those long hours of silent prayer. God showed me, through His Spirit, that He does love me–deeply, unconditionally, faithfully–and that I can know that love from the very center of my being. He showed me that my life need not be a constant effort to justify (even save?) myself in His eyes, nor does it have to be a lifelong penitential prison-sentence as I grapple with the guilt of my sin. He made me see that just as I love my son Luke and delight in the quirks of his personality, just as I want good things for him, just as I rejoice with him in moments of victory, and hurt for him when he stumbles, so too does God love me. I am one of His little ones, and He is strong enough not to be threatened by my weakness. To Him, and with Him, and in Him, I belong.

Jesus’s coming to us as the Christ-child is not just the act that initiates God’s redemptive intervention in the cosmos, though it is certainly that. It is also the most startling, most amazing, most personal gesture of love and hospitality any of us will ever know. It is God’s statement–definitive and unwavering–that He adores each of us enough to adopt us as His children.

I pray that we all grasp that truth more deeply this Christmas than ever before, and that we bask in the peace–a peace that surpasses all understanding!–that comes from knowing we are deeply, faithfully loved.

Jesus loves me, this I know.

-MW

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One Response to “Wednesday, Dec. 11 – Matt Walters”

  1. Anonymous December 11, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Thank you Matt. Martha flowers

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