Sunday, January 1, 2017

Let It Happen

There are twelve days of Christmas. Each day provides an opportunity to ponder anew how Christ may be born in us in this New Year 2017, and then simply being open to that happening.

This has nothing to do with the New Year resolutions we make.  It has to do with the world beyond where Love abides.  It has to do with being open to that world and letting that Love happen in the Bethlehem of our hearts.  It is not something we do.  It is something that happens to us.  “I am he who causes to happen what happens” (Exodus 3:14).  We cannot make it happen—we simply have to be open to it happening.  “It is not your own doing.”  “You did not choose me,” Jesus said, “but I chose you” (John 15:16). When it happens, Paul writes, “this is not your doing, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Robert Hudnut in his little book, “Church Growth Is Not the Point,” writes, “Yes, the thief on the cross confessed his faith, but it was in response to the man beside him.  Yes, the Prodigal Son came back, but it was in response to his father’s love.  Yes, the laborers in the vineyard worked one hour, but it was in response to the man who gave them the job.  Yes, Zaccheus climbed the tree, but it was in response to the man entering town.  ‘Faith,’ Luther said, ‘is our response to God’s grace.’  You can’t believe your way to God.  You believe your way from God.  You can’t work your way to God.  You work your way from God.  Grace is what happens.  Faith is letting it happen to you.  Works are letting it happen through you.”

In these twelve days of Christmas God is happening in some new way in you, in me, and in our world.  The first Christians called themselves servants. A servant, by definition, is a symbol of the passive spirit.  Everything is done to her and through her.  Nothing is done by her.  If we have any work to do, it is simply to make room in the inn of our beings and then let it happen! 

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