Thursday, December 18, 2008

At the Feet of Jesus

At the Feet of Jesus
December 18, 2008

As 2008 comes to a close, I find myself in awe over Jesus. Each year I get to know Him in a different way. It absolutely blows my mind that I can personally know the Creator of Heaven and earth. As I look back over different seasons of my life I always find that Jesus not only shapes me and conforms me to His image, He also reveals new characters of Himself to me. I usually can name a new one each time. If I could use one word to describe God’s character revealed to me this year it would be, “Mercy”.

While preparing this letter, I reflected on the past 3 Christmas letters that I have written and I found that each one had particular difficult situations. In 2005 we were waiting on a job. Just around the corner in 2006 we picked up our family and moved to another state for ministry. Last year we lost my grandmother and watched my father battle a nasty cancer. But, none of our family was prepared for what would happen this year. None of us knew that dad would leave our world so soon and enter our Saviors. No one was ready for this! The pain, confusion and grief were indescribable. But during this unbelievable time we witnessed the hand of God and felt His presence like never before. What Mercy!

After spending nearly all of January in Texas with my mom, I whirled home in order to prepare for a brand new women’s ministry the LORD had called me to. Already sure that I was totally incapable of the calling before me, taking on a new ministry while dealing with terrible grief seemed an impossible task. Buried in studies and overcome with speaking anxieties each month, the LORD became my confidence. I was met with intense spiritual battles head on all along the way while serving in this new capacity. But God in His great mercy clothed me with strength to endure every bit of it.

The love and gratitude I have for Jesus overflows with in me. I’m drawn to the text in the gospel of John where I find Mary of Bethany at the feet of Jesus. The account reads, “Mary took a bottle of very expensive perfume made from pure nard and poured it on Jesus' feet. Then she dried his feet with her hair.”(John 12:3) I love this picture. Mary, out of love and gratitude for Jesus is found anointing Jesus’ feet with a very costly perfume. Spending time at someone’s feet was the work of a servant and a woman with her hair unbound was not a common sight in public. The incredible picture that we find in this biblical text is Mary pouring out her life in an intense personal devotion to Christ.

In the verses following we find out that the perfume was worth 3 hundred denarii. (The equivalence of about a year’s wage) Matthew and Marks gospels give testimony that some thought this was a total waste. (Mk 14:4; Matt 26:8) I have a feeling many today would scorn the behavior of one who would pour out a years worth of wages on Jesus’ feet. Think about that for a minute. What do people these days do when they have saved a year’s salary? If it is all spent in devotion to Jesus how do people react? Sadly, I believe that most would exclaim as those already mentioned, “what a waste”. Yet, Jesus describes it as a beautiful thing! (Mark 14:6)

When we get a glimpse of who He really is and what He has done for us, one can’t help but fall at His feet and give it all away! As the great hymn by Isaac Watts says, “Were the whole realm of nature mine- That were an offering far too small- Love so amazing, so divine- Demands my soul, my life, my all.” I can not think of myself in any other place than my life poured out at the feet of Jesus in total devotion, giving everything to Him for all He has done in my life. Saving me from the pit of hell was alone more than I deserve. But the fact that he goes way beyond that and gets personally involved in individuals lives and gives hope, comfort, strength and great mercy when we need it is something I’ll never understand.

At Christmas, in the midst of all the buying, decorating and celebrating some may give Jesus a glance. Others may perhaps meditate on what the birth of Jesus meant. But I hope you do more. I hope you’ll find that there is no greater place to be in this life than to be poured out at the feet of Jesus. Not just at Christmas time but at all times. There you’ll find that there is really no cost and no loss. Nothing wasted. There you’ll find all you need.

Soli Deo Gloria,