Monday, December 31, 2012
2013: That's What He Said
Doesn't my theme sound, well, less than holy this year?
I got an inkling of my theme way back at the beginning of 2012, when I was focusing on Mary. Something inside me stirred and continued stirring as the year flew past. Then I got an Amazon Vine email that contained Shane Claiborne's newest book, Red-Letter Revolution: What if Jesus Really Meant What He Said?
I adore Shane and have been convicted and spurred on to change by his books in the past. They are eye-openers, to say the least. The title of his newest spoke to that stirring in my soul, the part of me fed up with "Church" and all of the craziness that is modern Christianity. I have embraced my inner skeptic and allowed myself to question and wrestle with my faith (or lack thereof) as this year drew to a close. I have felt torn open, laid bare, rubbed raw. I have asked myself if I could narrow my religion down, nail it to my heart with only the words of Christ.
What if I quit worrying about things Jesus never spoke of and focus entirely on the things He actually said? Even before seeing Shane's new book title, I was fairly certain 2013's theme would be focused on Jesus, on the actions He commanded and the lessons He taught. It seems fitting, doesn't it? To pass simply from a year about Mary to a year about Jesus. She has, in essence, birthed him inside of me this year. Focusing on Mary helped me to focus on Jesus, to imagine her vast love for Him, her tenderness as she nursed and swaddled Him, her pain when He was taken away.
I want to know Jesus as intimately as Mary knew Him. I want to actually live with Him within me, as Mary did for those nine months. Can I serve Him as she served Him? Can I follow Him as she followed Him, even if that means kneeling at the foot of a cross, losing everything I was certain could not be lost? Can I serve Him even when I feel betrayed by Him, as Mary must have felt when He said to the crowd, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" How her heart must have broken in that moment. Can I bare that?
In 2013, I want to learn to live with Jesus' words and also with His silence. So it is the year of That's What He Said or, if you'd prefer a holier wording, it is 2013: The Red-Letter Year.
Happy New Year, friends. God's blessing be upon you in whatever it may bring.