Dependent; relying on someone or something else for aid or support; subordinate [dictionary.reference.com]. That’s my word for this season. I don’t much like it. Nope, not at all. But, I should be used to it. I’ve found myself dependent more often than I care to acknowledge. Here I am again. Dependent on the kindness of friends, and on God, always on God. Not quite homeless but, not quite settled either. I love how Jesus always re-frames my idea of home. He’s shown me time and time again that my home is with him and his people. Not a place, so much as a relationship. Buildings, locations, rooms, they’re secondary.
As we begin the Advent season I’m amazed as I reflect on how Jesus left a home of absolute perfection. Stepping out of his eternal, loving existence with Father and Spirit, Jesus’ first earthly home was in the most humble of places. Mary.
Our pastor reminded us yesterday that Mary was Theotokos, the original God bearer. Jesus made his home in Mary, he made himself dependent upon her. That touches my heart. He understands my dependency because he orchestrated his own circumstances of dependence. He knows what it’s like to be in need, to benefit from the good will of others. He meets us in that place with understanding.
Just as Jesus made his home in Mary he will make his home in us, if we yield ourselves as she did. It can be hard to submit and welcome him in to have his way. It requires surrender. But Jesus has demonstrated his willingness to meet us where we are, and we can trust him.
I love Christmas. The wonder of God becoming one of us, being with us. Instead of despising my neediness I chose to see it as a gift. Being in need puts us in a posture to receive, to be filled, indwelt. Instead of focusing on the home I don’t have I’m focusing on the home I can become. A sanctuary of worship and obedience.
You may not think God is paying attention. But he always is. At the right time he set the Israelite captives free, saying he had heard their groanings. At the right time he sent his Son to set all of earth’s captives free. And one day we can trust he will send his Son again to make all things right, breaking the curse forever. The kind of God who can orchestrate all of that hasn’t lost track of your circumstances and he certainly hasn’t become indifferent.
As Advent begins let’s join with Mary in making ourselves available. Kneeling on humble knees we become the dwelling place of God again.
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:14