The Center Candle {{Meditations on the Last Day of Advent}}

The Center Candle {{Meditations on the Last Day of Advent}}

The last four days for me have felt like living in a cocoon, wrapped with sadness and no energy source inside.  In mechanic’s terms, it’s been like a car completely out of gas with an engine profusely leaking oil …leaving one blown engine …emotionally and physically.

But in the late hours of Christmas Eve or the early hours of Christmas morning, I woke with some inner anticipation.  There was a sense something had shifted.  Something seemed to reset …re-center.

Singing in my head Rich Mullins’, ” You gotta get up, it’s Christmas morning,”  I went in the dining room to  light the center candle —the Christ Candle.  The waiting was over.  The Christ Child had appeared and the season of Advent coming to an end …for now.

The 3-wick candle seemed appropriate as a reminder of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit — God, three in one.   All of Him in us …with us …for us …forever more.  Emmanuel.

The center …Jesus at the center of our lives. 

By definition, the center is known as   “a point, place, person, etc., upon which interest, emotion, etc., focuses, …core.”  Jesus at the center of all creation.  The point from which all of life is birthed and sustained and continues to have purpose and being.  And at this Point, all of  life’s decisions are made …to focus on Jesus as the center or create our own.  Every galaxy has a center.  Only One sustains Life.

 Jesus at the center …

And the Light shines in all our dark places to give hope and direction for the next step …a place of convergence …where the Truth, the Life, and the Way come into focus …a place of concentration.  All Three Persons of the Godhead …an eternal flame to light our way.

“The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine.

You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
and its people will rejoice…

For you will break the yoke of their slavery
and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod…

and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
They will be fuel for the fire.” *

For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!

*from Isaiah 9:2-7 (NLT)

Where do you see yourself in this Christmas story? The one living “in a land of deep darkness?” Depression? Anxiety? Hopeless?  Homeless? Lonely?

Or do you relate more to the “yoke of slavery” from a great “oppressor,” or the “burden” you are carrying from injustice, wounds, racial prejudice, personal suffering, addictions, family divided, resentment, abandonment,  or the trauma of war?

This Baby Boy came for ALL of us in whatever category we found ourselves falling into.  He carried the weight of the world on His shoulders …the government, the injustice done to many, our suffering, our loss.

And while there is talk of building walls to shut others out, emotional and physical tsunamis destroying lives and homes, family dysfunction and violence, there is One who loved  us enough to bring hope and peace into the middle of it all…no holds barred…one Child who loved us more than we could ever love Him back.  One tiny, newborn baby Boy with a cord of love that would never be severed.

“Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.
Peace has come to me …and to you as well.  The person of Peace in Jesus Christ has made a way to open heaven’s gates and fill our lives with His glorious light and hope and purpose …to offer all a reset …a re-centering …a place to call home.
Our Deliver has come.  Open the walls of your hearts.  Let Peace come flooding in.

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 7 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

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