Christ the Center

I am thankful to have the energy to type today, after coming through a few days of a miserable stomach bug. And thankful that I could actually eat something for breakfast this morning and enjoy a cup of coffee without feeling queasy! Things are improving! I am also thankful that I could follow my breakfast with time for my advent devotionals. I am currently working through two, which I highly recommend to anyone interested. You would start them late, but there is plenty of time to catch up! The first is called Journey to the Manger with St. Patrick & Friends: A Six-Week Celtic Advent Devotional by Jean McLachlan Hess, and the second is Traveling Unfamiliar Pathways: An Advent, Christmastide, and Epiphany Devotional by Renovare.

20131202_103314_resized

As I read this morning, I purposefully and intentionally refocused myself to CHRIST AT THE CENTER: of my life, of my work, of my feelings, of my relationships, of my family, of my thoughts, of my dreams, of my goals. It is surprisingly easy to lose that focus and centricity of Christ, especially during this time of year. Schedules get busy, plans must be booked, gifts must be purchased, and even the occasional stomach bug can deter you for days, such as in my case! To the point that you feel a bit distant from Christ at the center. So I found myself re-centering today. As Frank Laubach spoke of in his book The Game With Minutes, I pictured Jesus with me here at home, in the days to come at work, with clients as I sit in sessions, at the Christmas parties and festivities of the season; with me in all facets of this advent season. But not just with me along for my ride, but rather with me as the center and purpose of my actions…Traveling along HIS pathway.

The devotional by McLachlan Hess spoke of the term Emmanuel, meaning God with us, and how often we only focus on that as we enter the Christmas season, looking towards Christmas as the coming of Christ in the flesh, born into humanity. But she reminds the reader to celebrate Emmanuel at all times! Here is a segment from her entry:

“Each year, as we celebrate Christmas, we rejoice in Emmanuel–God with us. Yet for most of the year–therefore most of our lives–we live as if He is not with us, except when we find him in those carved-out scheduled ‘quiet times.’ But we do not need to merely settle for an hour in the morning in the hope of encountering the living Christ. If we truly believe God’s word, that he is Emmanuel–God with us,Β then we should expect to experience Him in our regular daily lives” (p. 20).

So today I am celebrating Christ with me! I am inviting myself again to journey with Him. He is the center, the rock, the firm foundation, upon whom my life must be built each and every day.

As I was anticipating this blog post, an old hymn came to mind, and I began to sing it. I love when the Lord brings songs to my remembrance! Perhaps you know this hymn as well, and can sing it along as you read:

MY HOPE IS BUILT ON NOTHING LESS

VERSE: My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly trust in Jesus’ name.

REFRAIN: On Christ the solid rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand:

All other ground is sinking sand.

VERSE: When darkness seems to hide His face,

I rest on His unchanging grace.

In every high and stormy gale,

My anchor holds within the veil.

REFRAIN: On Christ the solid rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand:

All other ground is sinking sand.

VERSE: His oath, His covenant, His blood,

Support me in the whelming flood.

When all around my soul gives way,

He then is all my Hope and Stay.

REFRAIN: On Christ the solid rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand:

All other ground is sinking sand.

VERSE: When He shall come with trumpet sound,

Oh may I then in Him be found.

Dressed in His righteousness alone,

Faultless to stand before the throne.

REFRAIN: On Christ the solid rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand:

All other ground is sinking sand.

~Words by Edward Mote (1834) and alternative tune by William Bradbury (1863).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s