A Modern Magnificat – for Our God Who is like No Other

abbey-1866549_640In the weeks of Advent,

we remember the waiting, the generations before us who searched and longed for your arrival, the millions who studied, prayed, and longed for a glimpse of Your promised deliverance. Countless God-lovers heard You whisper that it would be a people yet to come who would be blessed with knowing God made flesh dwelling among us, and here, now, we are that people. We are the generation blessed to live in the time after the waiting, the generation honored to have You in our history, in our now, and in our time to come, the people of Your own choosing who dare to call God our Friend.

And here I am a woman of my time, blessed and besieged, humbled and harried, aware, awake, and abiding in You with arms raised to Heaven but feet hard on the packed earth from which my people came. And do you see me Jesus? Do you know my name, my dreams, my pray-lake-1826548_640failings, and my fears? Do you hear my prayers, my heartbeat, my angry outbursts, my confessions and celebrations? Can you feel my sighs, my songs, my sadness, my sorrows, my longings, my lament? Can you touch my wounds, my soiled soul, my shattered sureness, my faltering faith and scaffold me round with an endless dispensation of grace enough to shore me up from the ground to glory? And Jesus will you get me home with those I love, safely to the heart of our great Father? Yes, I know you can, you do, you will. And in this, I trust and wait like those before me.

What can I offer the King of Kings who has no need, who knows no want, who spoke the world into being? Only words. But how can they be only if you came as The Word? If I’m building-419269_640accountable for every word, if cursing and blessing affect change in the world, if You called to me through Your written Word then is it any small gift to offer you all that I have: my small life, my raw spirit, my words that pour from the overflow of a heart inhabited by You as You make it new? Your Spirit lives within me and from inside me You call to Yourself and the channel for this connection is the words that spring to mind and emerge through my fingertips and tongue.

Jesus, there is no God like You.  For one, You are no invention of humankind but we were Your idea, conceived in Your endlessly fertile and infinite mind. You are, at once, unchanging and surprising, timeless and relevant, above the Heavens and yet, personal and here aware of my hurt, in tune with my worship, patient with my questions, and gentle with my doubts. I marvel at all Your creation – the engineering, the artistry, the biology, the algorithms, the composition and architecture, the craftsmanship and calculations, the geography and geology, the imagination and endless wisdom. You surround us with a planet that testifies to Your existence, Your attendance, Your intelligence, Your flamingos-1619415_640humor, and Your great adventurous heart.

You’ve no need for me to defend You, in fact, You promise to defend me. You’re not a God who needs me to carry You, in fact, You carry me. You’re so secure in Your power and might, You arrived naked and squalling from Mary’s womb in a time before vaccinations and mass media, proving that even vulnerable and isolated You could walk among us and change the world. You don’t reject our humanity, you inhabited it and showed us the potential in it even as we cried out for You to be crucified on a tree we sawed down for the person-371015_640purpose of punishment and death. Then, Your deity broke out of death, purchasing our freedom and blazing the trail for our own path to eternal life, You, Jesus, alive now forever, brokering mercy for us daily before the Father’s throne, pleading peace for those who devised Your destruction because Your love and truth showed us our need for You.

You are a God available. You are a God accessible. You are a God just, righteous, loving, patient, and full of mercy. You are a God steadfast in love and faithful in purpose. You are a God present. You are a God magnificent. You are a God of universe and stars, buttercups and babies, cathedrals and caverns, sanctuaries and slums, there is no place we can go You will not find us, see us, love us, rescue us, or hunt us down when we run from the only love that relentlessly saves us.carp-721721_640

I am a woman of my time and I see us on a fearful path, a divisive walkway, a winding road marked with conflict, thievery, bloodshed, tears, and tunnels where there is much we cannot see. I’m old and close to home but my children and their children will bear these days on their backs like stinging cords, on their shoulders like heavy burdens, and on their hearts that they must guard lest their love grow cold before we all arrive at Your door. In this season of light, burn brightly for us. Light the way for our souls to follow. star-1562847_640In this season of celebration, be our joy amidst hardship, our laughter under persecution, and our freedom in an age of oppression and fear. In this season of remembrance, remind us that You are truth and You will protect us from deception, You are love and Ylights-1088141_640ou will fill us when we are empty, You are life and You will revive us when we faint along the way. Remind us that as vulnerable and small as our children seem to us, You will never lose sight of them any more than Your Father lost sight of You and the government shall be upon Your shoulders.

You are God and there is no other. You are the long-awaited Messiah. May Your kingdom come, Lord Jesus, now and forevermore. Amen.

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    The Conversation

  1. Joanne Urbany says:

    This is a beautifully written devotional. Thank you, and God bless you, Lori.

  2. Marti says:

    I’m very moved by this devotional. So close to the heart of man. Uplifting. All praise-worthy to our Savior God and King. Thank you.