Continued Rebirth of the Christ Within
Andy Horner of Centennial, CO, USA
May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God…. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:5-7, 13
Our family faced several challenges leading up to and during the birth of our son, Gabe. This included visits to a fertility doctor (although treatment turned out not to be necessary), preparing our older children for a new addition to the family, career changes for both Jana and me, a move from Colorado to New Jersey, finding a new doctor with less than three months remaining in the pregnancy, an emergency delivery when Gabe went into distress, and post-partum complications that almost took Jana’s life.
Some of these were planned for, some were not. And perhaps we should have rethought the cross-country move that separated the family for a few weeks near the end of the pregnancy. For me, though, the biggest surprise was when Gabe was born. He was small, just five pounds four ounces. I laid my finger by his arm and they were the same length. He seemed to me like a little doll, except with incredibly realistic fingers and toes. As the youngest child in my birth family and a stepdad in my chosen family, I had never lived in a house with a baby before. I hadn’t understood what I was in for.
Now, over two decades later, Gabe has grown into a delightfully clever person. He is a gifted artist and has a strong sense of social justice. He challenges me to be accountable.
As we anticipate the birth of Jesus during this Advent season, we will try to prepare the best we can, but we really don’t understand what we’re in for. We are not just preparing for the birth of a baby. The real celebration we are preparing for is the continued rebirth of the Christ within us. This Christ leads us to unexpected situations where we may feel off-balance. This Christ challenges us to be accountable. This Christ turns our world upside-down.
“Trust what is being born” (Stephen M. Veazey, Words of Counsel, 2019).
Deepen your breathing as you enter a few moments of silent presence to God. Pay attention first to your own life as you gently ask and notice, “What is most alive in me right now? What is being born in me?” After a few moments of silent listening, ask these questions of your community, the church, and the world. Notice how the Spirit is revealing new life and possibility as you prayerfully ask these questions over time.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
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