It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Four Calling Birds

On the fourth day of Christmas
My True Love gave to me,
Four calling birds...

The four men who wrote the four gospels calling us to Christ.

Before I head out to prune my second tree today, I thought I would share a favorite verse from each of the four gospels.

From Matthew 8:8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.

As a child I said these words, or ones very much like them, every day (except Saturday) just before receiving communion. It is so true for all of us, we are not worthy of Him. Like John the Baptist we are not worthy to loosen his sandal straps, we are not worthy to ask for the healing like the woman who touched his cloak, like the centurion we are not worthy to have him come into our home no matter how grand. But He speaks and we are healed by His word, He speaks and enters not only our home but our lives, to forgive and heal. And what a healing it is, drenching, refreshing, restoring, from the great first healing to the daily on going healing of His word to our soul.

From Mark 10: 29-30 I tell you the truth, Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children of fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (home, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields - and with them persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.

I have indeed received more than a hundred times as much already in this present age, just in knowing Him more fully. If He had only given me Himself it would have been enough, but he has given me brothers and sisters that are far deeper than flesh and blood and continually adds to my family when I least expect it, always making room in my heart for just one more. Blood may be thicker than plain water but it is nothing compared to the living water and those who truly live there.

Luke 22:30-31 Simon, Simon, Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail. And when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.

This is my verse, if I was inclined to have a tattoo, I would put a rooster on my foot, so that every time I went to step out I would remember, who I was and who I am now. I am a Peter. I knew Christ, dwelt with Him, ate with Him, walked with Him, proclaimed Him, but then out of fear I denied Him. How exhilarating to my soul, to know that not only does my Savior save my very soul but He has prayed specifically for me.

This verse has also been the source of great comfort when I feel more compelled by my concern for the brethren than others feel I should have. When others, called to other things, in their zeal have tried to convince the entire body to become feet like them I return to these words that I know are mine and I am encouraged.

In the same way these words pull me up short time and time again, stopping me from what I think I would like to do, what would please others, and causes me to re-attend to what it is my Christ has set before me. To listen to the Holy Spirit's lead that I may do it as unto the Lord himself.

John 10:16 And there will be one flock and one Shepherd.

The things we think divide us are not as great as He who calls us together in His name.

You and I are the flock, the church. We do not go to church, we become the church, the one and only church. And we have but one Shepherd. All others are His brothers and co-laborers but He leads the flock. And some may very well be coyotes, feeding off of His flock. But we are not to fear because He has an awesome night vision scope and can see through the darkness.

Dear Reader it was very hard to pick just one from each gospel but I hope that I have given you a little more insight as to what makes me tick. I pray that you think of the verses you would pick if you were asked - hey consider yourself asked! I would love to do a lot of reading either here in my comment section or on your blog. What are your choices from the four calling birds? What do they sing to your heart?

PS Another feast day: The feast of Holy Innocence or the feast of the Holy Family today, maybe one feast for the first half of the day and one for the second half. Hug your children, hug other children, remember those who do not have a childhood because of the sinful world, pray for them. Luke 17:1-2 Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.

I knew I could get just one more favorite in today! Have a blessed day, a really truly blessed day, do not be sad, let your heart not be troubled, He who Is has us in His hand!


Ted M. Gossard said...

I think that's a wonderful celebration for the church, and really wish we'd all be in on it.

Good thoughts for us, Lanny. Thanks.

KathyB. said...

Now I have another reminder when I admire my roosters....I'll skip the tatoo. Very interesting and thought provoking post. I too, have always admired the words of the centurion and the faith illustrated here. Thank-you for another thought provoking post.....

BTW, the analogy of 'night vision' and 'coyotes', a lot of things to think about when we put darkness and predator, darkness and Satan together.....

Flower said...

Thanks for the lesson of celebration. The Good King won't go unforgotten!

Cliff said...

This is fairly in depth and much appreciated.
My good intentions
'blogwise' were foiled by my internet going down on Christmas eve.
So a Merry Christmas is due you and yours. Blessings on ya.