Monday, 29 December 2008

Praying the Scripture - Orphans no more

Opening Prayer

Here I am Lord,
Speak to me
within my heart and soul.
I am listening.

Galatians 4:4-7 (The Message)

But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, "Papa! Father!" Doesn't that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you're also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.


To have a life that’s not your own.
To be a commodity; useful, practical,
To be valued for what you can do but not who you are
To be ruled by expectation and the tribute demanded
For your path to be dictated by circumstance and necessity.

To be abandoned by love
To be orphaned from hope
Enslaved by the whims of the world
Held captive by the rule of Man
Ignorant of the very stars above your head
Eyes downcast
A slave indeed

The time comes

Light that dwelt outside time
Comes to life within human life
Emmanuel – in truth, God is with us
From the very first heartbeat of existence
To the last sigh of farewell.

For the touch of an infant’s hand melts the shackles of fear
For the sound of a baby’s cry gifts love to the loveless
For the smell of a child’s skin recalls life beyond this entrapment
For the birth of a baby boy rekindles hope for all who will witness

The Father sees you sitting bereft in the dust
And has sent his Son to gather you
To buy back your freedom
All the lost and abandoned children
And bring you back to your Father’s arms

You will raise your eyes to the stars
With the confidence of Faith
The freedom that is His Love
and the legacy that is eternal Grace

‘Sons and Daughters’

Our God does not meet our expectations. In fact, by god standards, he is not a very good god. Gods (with the small ‘g’) tend to be obsessed with fear and sacrifice; making sure they are worshipped and that their worshippers know their place – on their knees. They may be ‘born’ as babies but generally have a royal legacy, superhuman strength or preternatural knowledge. Our God, with the sureness of a Divine who calls himself simply ‘I Am’ says to us
‘I am the Creator – I don’t ask for my own creation returned as sacrifice; I don’t need worship; I don’t want fear. You were made to be my most beloved sons and daughters and that is what you will always be to me. But you do not believe - so here is the Son of my Spirit to show you - a brother and guide to you all; a Son who will know every step of your life, every happiness; every disappointment; every heartache. Take him to your heart; love him; share with him; learn from him. Begin at the beginning’

Imagine the crowded streets of Bethlehem; an older man from one of the trading villages, widowed, but now with a young wife about to give birth. He’s from the Royal Line of David, but that’s worth nothing. Everyone else in the town traces their lineage back to David and the scandal surrounding the pregnancy means that his kinsmen have withdrawn their hospitality. With no money for a room at the inn, he is begging at back doors for somewhere to sleep, until he catches an innkeeper off guard – maybe he has a daughter that age, maybe he knows someone from that town – but it’s only a cave; winter quarters for the animals and they must take their chances. And from the moment of the Christ’s first cry, their life does not get any better. And that is what God wanted; to be with the lonely, the vulnerable and the outcast – to be wherever we are.

We are at the beginning of God’s great step of faith towards us. Do you feel that sibling relationship with the Lord; do you feel like a beloved child of God. If so, share your thanks with God (he doesn’t hear Thank you enough)
If not, consider what is in the way of deepening this relationship and bring this to God.

Closing Prayer
May the blessing of the Sacred Three
The Father who gave us the Word
The Son who is the Word
The Spirit who opens the Word within us
Be with us today and evermore.Amen


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