Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas C.M. Countdown, Day 23

(Book studied: Ourselves Book II, Part III)

Chapters III, "The Knowledge of God," and IV, "Prayer," are full of Christmas gifts for us to unwrap.

"A little plant of moss, the bareness of a tree in winter, may, as we have seen, awake us to the knowledge; or, dealings of strange intimacy with our own hearts, visitings of repentance and love, sweet answers to poor and selfish prayers, tokens of friendship that we can never tell, but most surely perceive, are all steps in this chief knowledge." (p. 184)
Are we longing to know God better, but we think the Bible is too hard to read, or we've been told it's full of errors? "But, as the friend listens to the voice, pores over the written word of his friend, so the lover of God searches the Bible for the fuller knowledge he craves...he believes that in these is to be found, and nowhere but in these, a revealed knowledge of God...a revelation of God which satisfies and directs every aspiration of the Soul of man." (pp. 184-186, italics hers). All for us: the gift of the Word.
"We cry in fear, and hope is spoken to us; in penitence, and we breathe peace; in sympathy, and we expand in love. These are the answers of our 'Almighty Lover' to the dull, uncertain movements of our poor hearts." (p. 188)
Do we need to know that we are heard and understood? God responds to both "felt prayers" and habitual, disciplined meditation and petitioning. All for us:  the gift of prayer.
"But the seeking must be of single purpose; we must not be bent upon finding what we take for dross, whether in the Bible, in the ordering of the world, or in that of our own lives. Our search must be for the grains of gold, and, as we amass these, we shall live and walk in the continual intimacy of the divine Love, the constant worship of the divine Beauty, in the liberty of those whom the Truth makes free." (p. 187)
Are we lonely because most people are "too far off" for us, and connecting is difficult for whatever reason? We are offered true intimacy with one who will not desert us. "'This is eternal life,' said our Lord, 'to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent'; and this knowledge, this exalted intimacy, is open to us all, on one condition only––if we choose" (p. 183)All for us: the gift of a restored relationship with God. As one of our little children put it: "God and sinners recon-smiled."

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