Joy Surrendered—The Servant Disciple: Week Three of Advent [20DEC2013]
Readings: Psalm 40, 54 ◊ Zech 7:8—8:8 ◊ Rev. 5:6-14 ◊ Matt. 25:14-30 ◊
Reading: Choose the Life—Exploring a Faith that Embraces Discipleship by Bill Hull
Discipleship should look like this today: (1) A disciple submits to a teacher who teaches him or her how to follow Jesus. (2) a disciple learns Jesus’ words (3) a disciple learns Jesus’ way of ministry (4) a disciple imitates Jesus’ life and character (5) a disciple finds and teaches other disciples for Jesus. -Bill Hull, Choose the Life
“How can one pity anyone who is doing the will of Our Lord? Is there anything sweeter on earth than to do the will of him one loves? And if it gives one some trouble to carry it out, the sweetness is all the greater.” -From Meditations of a Hermit by Charles de Foucauld
I’ve been observing the circumstances of life around me, looking at the timeline of life and drama that is occurring right now in the daily living of people who have surrendered their will to following the Christ who is their savior. While God the Holy Spirit is our Comforter and gives us Peace in the midst of our journey, sometimes the journey is exceedingly difficult. Jesus said this would be so; “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NLT). Pursuing the Christ and His Cross requires grit, passion, singleness of heart, and faith in the big picture (Luke 14:25-35). There is nothing easy about being wholly committed to Jesus.
Similarly, there is nothing passive about surrendering or living wholly surrendered to the LORD, Jesus Christ. On the contrary… it requires more action, faith, will, tenacity, endurance, courage, and risk-taking than any venture or activity I have ever been part of. History and the experiences of many other countless millions of Christians will also testify to this reality. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” Just as this was true with Mary, Jesus promised it would be true with us; “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth… You know him because he lives with you now and later will be in you. I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you” (John 14:15-18).
We are not alone and there is no such thing as a weak, wall-flower Christian. The ONE who opened His mouth and the universe came out…now lives in me. Weak? Passive? I think not. This is what surrendered to Christ is. As Mary said, “I am the servant of the Lord, may it be unto me as He says.” This is not only our surrender, but it is our battle cry. We know the trials of our faith will prove our genuineness (1 Peter 1:6-9) and lead us to the eternally rich life with Christ each follower so desperately desires.
Behold, I am the servant of the Most High God. May it be done to me according to your word and your will. Amen. – Let everything within you watch and wait, for the Lord our God draws near. Alleluia.
O Antiphon for December 20th:
O Clavis David (Is. 9:6; 22:22): “O key of David and scepter of Israel, what you open no one else can close again; what you close no one can open. O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”
Prayer of Psalms:
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord…
O God, Maker of all mankind, give the rewards of joy, grant the gift of graces, dissolve the chains of quarreling, and bind fast the agreements of peace. Teach us to think and do what is right, so that we, who without you cannot exist, may live in loving obedience to your will. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.