Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Not by Might

For me one of the deep truths - the sparkling ornaments that I learn from during Advent seasons (the time of celebrating Christ coming to dwell with us) is that victory really does not come from the kind of might I think it does. I have been mulling over some of the lovely sides of that ornament. 

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I remember one of the first latin phrases I picked up in junior high, probably from a poem. Amor vincit omnia. Love conquers all. True of God's love. We are reminded of that love with the birth of Christ, and then again, so much at his death and resurrection.

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Not long after that, I got the same idea about God's love often conquering us quietly and seemingly from a place of weakness, in the Edwin Markham poem Outwitted:

He drew a circle that shut me out —

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But Love and I had the wit to win:

We drew a circle that took him in!

We drew a circle that shut God out. But He showed how large His love is by drawing a huge circle with Christ to take us back in.

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And James 2:13 includes "Mercy triumphs over judgment." Not the usual cry of power.

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Last week at a Christmas concert we heard this song, new to me. It moves a little fast, so the words are posted below.

This little Babe so few days old, is come to rifle Satan's fold;
All hell doth at his presence quake, though he himself for cold do shake;
For in this weak unarmed wise the gates of hell he will surprise.
With tears he fights and wins the field, his naked breast stands for a shield.
His battering shot are babish cries, his arrows looks of weeping eyes,
His martial ensigns Cold and Need, and feeble Flesh his warrior's steed.
His camp is pitched in a stall, his bulwark but a broken wall;
The crib his trench, haystalks his stakes; of shepherds he his muster makes; 
And thus, as sure his foe to wound, the angels' trumps alarum sound.
My soul, with Christ join thou in fight; stick to the tents that he hath pight. 
Within his crib is surest ward; this little Babe will be thy guard.
If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy, then flit not from this heavenly Boy.

"foil thy foes with joy" - there is the reminder that my soul longs for

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