gold: bringing Jesus our best Advent offering

advent-come-to-jesus-pin

 

During Advent we are invited into story, made aware of the reason for the anticipatory watching and waiting. There will be surprises to come, a humble birth to proclaim, gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense to be proffered by kings, now bowing to the King of kings on His bed of straw.

Advent is a golden time, a twilight hour before the main event, a necessary pause in proceedings as we ponder our own part in all of this. Because it cannot leave us cold. We are active participants too.

Not only do we pause, ponder and pray, mull and marvel at the miracle of God become man, we also start to see ourselves as the reason why He came, the purpose for this most Holy of invasions, this gentle leap into earthly territory.

And it may make us wonder what our response should be to the birth of our Lord and Saviour. What can we bring to Him, the One who throws stars into space and rides galaxies?

I believe God came for our hearts, our open devotion and willing surrender to His goodness and grace. I believe He wants us to be captivated by His offering of relationship.

We bring Him our gold, our best. What would that be? I think it’s our brokenness. We bring our messed up lives, our hidden sin, our secret dreams.  We bring Him failure and defeat, loss and longing, need and desire. We bring all the broken pieces of our lives like scattered ashes at His feet, ready for Him to bring beauty forth from them.

He tenderly takes, sifts, sorts and remakes us better than before. God isn’t afraid to get His hands dirty with our dust and detritus. He asks us to come as we are, no frills, no excuses, no pretence, no hesitation. Isn’t that the best invitation of all?


I didn’t intend to post today, but I wrote a tiny haiku with these thoughts on my mind. It was in response to a prompt which my lovely writing friend, Gayl Wright, speaks of on her blog. She also shares her own beautiful offering to the prompt of ‘Gold/Sing’ as found on Ronavan Writes – where this inviting poetic haiku challenge originates from.

This is my response:

Bring your offering

Let your gold pieces sing sweet

Laid at Jesus’ feet

I hope you’ll feel tempted to give it a go yourself!  🙂

gold-offering

Advent: seeing through soft smattering of stars

advent-through-soft-smattering

 

Soft light diffuses through glass, making dust particles dance in a torchlight beam, aided by a kitchen’s muggy warmth and steam, sending a glow glittering off walls like tiny ice crystals.

I watch entranced by the way light streams in through a window like a heavenly offering. It’s a marker of grace glinting through our days, a gentle reminder of how God’s love rains continually from above.

Because light will always infiltrate the darkness, penetrate through pane and pierce our own pain like a shard of healing laser-light, cutting at the corners of our circumstances, ready to open us up to a revelation of our belovedness before God.

The air is stilled with slivers, like flecks of salt seasoning a room. It parts for light to get in, makes space for grace arriving as a fragrant offering, a smattering of stars to light the way Home.

Through soft smattering of stars

In this Advent season let me become more

contemplative and reflective rather than

crazed and restless. Let me feel deep within

these bones, this mantle of flesh, this position

of weakness, that I still host the Holy in my soul

 

I ache with longing for the Light within to be

the consuming of me, a burning pyre on which

sits my sinful desires. May the dross, dust

and detritus give way to the Cross, to your

freely spilt blood, your white-hot devouring fire

 

Let your Love pierce through all traces of dark

Let your forgiveness, mercy and grace become

my new mantle and covering as I walk this

way of faith. Let my eyes look forward to seeing

your appearing through soft smattering of stars

©JoyLenton2016

Advent is a time to look for the light appearing here, now, in our midst. To have a watchful remembrance, a heart seeking for a smattering of stars, pointing to the brightest star of all, leading the way to Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.

A birth is imminent. Christ seeks to be born again in our hearts. He aches to appear for us as the Light we cannot do without, the one that overcomes all our darkness.

advent-through-soft-smattering-of-stars-poem

Beyond all expectations

manger nativity PJ

Beyond expectations

There was no theological precedent

for this, no earthly reason

for God to present His bliss

within the folds of swaddling cloth

When one of valour and of might

was anticipated as bold warrior-slayer,

who would expect a starry night

to bring a babe of lowly birth to be

heaven’s chosen Messiah-King on earth?

An unconventional beginning

to His reign, where weakness

became perfect player for His power

and strength was seen in holy purity,

integrity and inner grit to steel

this humble soul for painful death

prepared by prayerful blood-sweat tears

witnessed within His dying-rising

hour at close of earthly years

©JoyLenton2015

Dear reader, bless you for being here to read, comment and share this space together. I’m truly thankful for your company and I appreciate each and every one of you and the interactions we’ve enjoyed.

As I take a brief break to spend time with family, I want you to know how much you’ve blessed and encouraged me this year.

Merry Christmas and a Happy, blessed New Year to you, lovely reader!

I plan to pen some more poetry here in early January.

Meanwhile, feel free to browse the archives here or over at my other site, Words of Joy.

Looking forward to being back with you soon.

With blessings and love, Joy Xx ❤

PJ christmas greeting

The story starts with a seed

from a seed - PJ

In Advent we look forward with anticipation to an event of great magnitude.

Remembrance and celebration of Jesus coming to earth for us.

Entering our fallen humanity with the purpose of being the only acceptable, possible sinless sacrifice for our sin.

Beginning in a humble place, with a message of universal hope and grace.

And like all historic occasions, as we look back we can see the seeds of it happening, the roots of origin revealed.

In the poem below I am trying to capture an essence of the foundations for God’s plan of salvation.

Because marvelling at Jesus coming to earth doesn’t stop (or start) with the babe in the manger.

It transcends time itself as part of God’s foreknowledge before we ever knew of it.

All stories start with a seed, a germ of an idea, a creative spirit.

This is the greatest story ever told. One we repeat with awe. God incarnate, come as one of us.

The story starts with a seed…

From a seed

dark seeds

Eve was deceived and

sowed a seed of destruction

leading to mankind’s expulsion

from heavenly joy into a darker

employ of labour and toil

fear, pain, guilt and shame

Yet hidden within her

human skin lay a dormant

seed-carrier capacity

a foretaste of the future

when sin’s enormity

would require a Saviour

And Mary became Seed-bearer

for the human race

to be redeemed by love

and set free by grace

by the birth of God on earth

constrained into a human frame

Her child – Jesus, our Messiah

Saviour, Servant-King and Lord

to whom we bring faith-seed offering

of a heart willing to believe

a mind receptive to receive

a spirit to praise and to adore

©JoyLenton2015

I’m sharing my chosen five-minute-friday word ‘seed’ and the poem that came from it with fellow word-wrangling wordsmith friends at Kate Motaung’s site, with Mel at essentialfridays and with Barbie for Weekend Whispers. You are very welcome to join us or to stop by and be blessed by reading the posts we share.

Mary as Seed bearer - PJ

Reflecting on the light

reflecting on the light - PJ FMF

These are days when I avoid more than a fleeting, perfunctory glance in glass.

Checking for unruly hair, smudges and smears while avoiding noting the passage of years.

It makes me sad and discouraged at times to mark the passing of time and all that’s left undone as another year closes.

So this is a season of seeking to see myself more in the mirror of Christ and to lean toward His glorious light.

Aiming during Advent to focus more sharply on His image rather than my own.

I want to be awed and amazed once more as I become immersed in His grace and glory-story.

I want to reflect more deeply on the light of His coming and the gift of His presence.

With these thoughts in mind, I share my best poetic five-minute-friday offering with you.

Reflection

I gaze into glass and it reflects back

a clear-eyed image of me

with uncanny accuracy

My present and past lay revealed

yet I feel it doesn’t really see

deep inside the whole of my soul

It reflects back the way years, pain and tears

have etched their stain hard on my visage

and how I’ve been beaten down by care,

wearing signs of sickness on the surface

So I turn instead to the much-thumbed

book beside my bed, and begin

to read as it continues reading me

I see myself with startling clarity

It reveals who I am in the process of

becoming when reflected in its depths

Here I am mirrored in Christ

shining forth His life

And it reflects all I can be as I

live out its truth, surrender

my time, my years, my life

Now I turn gentler toward

the mirror of glass

knowing its image is transitory,

passing, nothing that lasts

Because the only thing

that fully reflects my

passage on earth

is my faith in Christ

through the ever exalting

state of new birth

©JoyLenton2015

Reflection poem pin

Joining with fellow word wranglers at Kate Motaung’s site today as we wrestle to pin them to a page in 5 minutes flat. This week’s prompt is ‘reflect’.

It’s a lovely, encouraging, supportive community who meet there every Friday. Come join us? You’re very welcome to take part or just drop by here to read the words being shared.

Come to Him

advent WoJ file image

‘Come’

Come to the manger

Come empty

Come dry

You have no need

God cannot supply

Come see the Christ-child

Come wonder

Come kneel

Open your heart

and God will reveal

Come hear the angels

Come listen

Come bring

Your awe, amazement

as heaven’s hosts sing

Come witness Mary

Come ponder

Come pray

Her tender devotions

will show you the way

Come away slowly

Come Hope-filled

Come changed

As you give God your life

it becomes rearranged

©JoyLenton2014

**Unless God indicates otherwise, I am taking a brief blogging break to contemplate more closely the wonder of Christ’s coming to earth, to savour the season and spend quality time with my family. It is my hope and prayer to return early in January to share the words He lays on my heart, including the One Word 365 for 2015.**

I’d like to wish my dear readers and followers a very ‘Merry Christmas’ and a ‘Happy New Year’! Thank you so much for joining me on the journey. I really appreciate you all. Blessings and love, Joy 🙂

heart change PJ pin file image

Reaching out

This is a season for reaching out.

Making quality time for loved ones, family and friends.

Offering gifts, help and encouragement.

Creating space to meet with our Creator-God.

Seeking to engage our finite minds and lives with the Infinite One ~ our Lord Jesus Christ.

Preparing hearts and homes to receive Him anew.

As the Advent season of watching and waiting, reaching out and receiving draws to its glorious ending, I reach out to you with gratitude for all God has done in my life this year.

I am particularly thankful for the many new friendships I have made in the writing community especially.

Thank you for being here and sharing the poetic journey with me. I have really appreciated your company and comments.

And as I take a brief break to recharge my batteries and enjoy having time to read and reflect more, I pray that you may you have a truly blessed and hope-filled Happy Christmas!

‘Reaching out’

There’s a reaching out

across time and eternity

as Love comes down

to embrace our fallen humanity

and spill the fragrance, sweet savour

of God’s holy favour

There’s a whisper, a shout,

an angelic proclamation

as the Prince of Peace

invades every tribe and nation

with the news of His birth

echoing throughout earth

There’s a longing, a sigh,

in hearts heavy and weary

for a way to break free

from days hard and dreary,

with scattered hopes and dreams

failed plans and schemes

There’s a wonder, a cry

and recognition dawning

that this baby, Christ-child

brings us a resurrection morning

of forgiveness, mercy and healing

seen in God’s grace all revealing

©JoyLenton2013