In This Life

The window of daylight each winter is short.  We must make the most of shorter days. Yesterday to fully experience the wonder of snow we took off to our favorite northwest mountain lake.  This is the place where Jonah was baptized this last summer, and I often held gatherings for God, guitar, and song.  The snow was falling in such a light and magical way.  I looked at the simplicity of life.  My children, three brothers and one sister, at an age like Lucy and Edmond in Narnia are beautiful, young, and free.  There I stood knowing that the world offers Turkish delight and shames anyone who would resist.
As a mother to four children and a host of extras who come and go from our home I have been a confidant to many lives.  They all have wonderful stories, different opportunities, but the same gift of life has been unwrapped from the moment they draw their first breath.
How we live our days is of course how we live our lives.  Annie Dillard
I have this morning with blanket wrapped and the chill of the winter windows been considering how we should live our lives.
Jonathan Swift wrote an exhort:
May you live everyday of your life.

The phrase “in this life” rang clear in my thoughts like a train whistle before a crossing.

A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life. (Proverbs 13:7 MSG)

Christ said he came to give life, and an abundant one to each who would reach out and take it.  Mothers, mostly pray our children take it instead of the shock and show but ultimately empty life.
Day by day we are taking our stand. Not as glorious as Aslan in Narnia or Lady Wisdom from Proverbs, but none the less we stand.
On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, (Proverbs 8:2-4, 32, 33, 35 ESV)
Mothers are like that, we say often and yes even in public places the instruction experience has roughly taught.  We boldly take a stand.  We look at our children and ask, “are you listening?”
If the message was wrapped in otherworldly unearthly glory would you listen?
It has been.
But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” (Acts 5:19, 20 ESV)
When an angel freed the jailed (they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison) the instruction was the will of God delivered by an unearthly angelic messenger.  Tell them the words of Life! God has given the message in so many ways, by fire, by stone tablets, by men prophets with unearthly demonstrations of God’s power, by angels, and then by one greater than all predecessors by HIS Son.
We are in the world to give life and light as sons and daughters
 of God.  This bold strength to stand comes from our God.  As HIS children we are so loved he constentiently restores our lives in this decaying world.  Our life, the light of the world is Jesus the Messiah.

“God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.

(Now I know you’ve heard that first portion before, however listen further.)

God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him. People who believe in God’s Son are not judged guilty.

(God calls us to lead a guiltless life.  How? By believing.  It’s the only choice we are judged by. The way I would put it to my children: Christ or your Turkish delight?)

Those who do not believe have already been judged guilty, because they have not believed in God’s one and only Son.

They are judged by this fact: The Light has come into the world, but they did not want light. They wanted darkness, because they were doing evil things. All who do evil hate the light and will not come to the light, because it will show all the evil things they do. But those who follow the true way come to the light, and it shows that the things they do were done through God.” (John 3:16-21 NCV)

Shortened days are upon us.  How will you live yours?  A guilt free life, is offered by God’s Son.  No shock and show, just a humble love to steady our days.

I will leave you with these words from Chronicles of Narnia:
 
“I was wishing that I came of a more honourable lineage.”
“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”
Prince Caspian – Chapter 15

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