First today, I have some quotes that make me want to jump up right there where you are and make a run for Jesus all around the room:
"You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you."
"If God has given graces to some good women, revealing to them something holy and good through His Holy Scriptures, should they, for the sake of the defamers of the truth, refrain from writing down, speaking, or declaring it to each other? Ah! It would be too impudent to hide the talent which God has given us, we who ought to have the grace to persevere to the end. Amen!"
—Marie Dentière, former abbess and wife of a Protestant minister (1495-1561)
"Surely it is worthwhile to lay ourselves out with all our might in promoting the cause and kingdom of Christ."
"The war made me poignantly aware of the beauty of the world."
—J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)
“A priest is a priest, no matter where she happens to be. Her job is to recognize the holiness in things and hold them up to God. Her job is to speak in ways that help other people recognize the holiness of things too.” —Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church
"Do not wish to jump immediately from the streams to the sea, because one has to go through easier things to the more difficult."
—Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
"I am content to fill a little space if God be glorified."
—Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley
This one’s for all the ladies.
And it’s for all the men who would not be as brave, as faithful, or as secure if they had not been loved by the mothers, the sisters, and the wives who spoke truth and wove grace in their lives.
This one is for all of us, who have filled small spaces with our glorious souls. It’s for those of us who have spoken mighty words in the tiny assembly of a nursery, a friendship, or in the quiet of our own solitude. For those of us who have seen and recognized the holy in the brokenness around us, and have held the pieces up to God and others, marveling at their brilliance.
We belong to God, and we ought not shy away from His call on our lives to love and live out of the depth of our soul knowledge of our Heavenly Father.
It is important that we realize what is within us.
He whose words carved the world from chaos has made His home in our lives. The God who spoke from Mount Sinai and left Moses’s face glowing with light lives within us. Inside our souls, He arises, the Lord Himself, who shut the mouths of lions and quenched the heat of the fiery furnace, and raised up little Esther, and crowned a whole-hearted shepherd boy as king over Israel. He lowered Himself into the body of a vulnerable baby, entrusted His Son to a teenage mother, lifted up the poor and the broken and healed them, then died for a whole world full of people crying out for justice and mercy.
Yes, it is important to realize Who has mingled His holy grace with our humanity, choosing to make us vessels of His breathtaking love.
If the place I am to take in life seems small, if I am limited by circumstances, systems, biases, or simply my abilities, the ocean of God’s mighty presence within me will not be quenched. Even then, I am full of a greatness the world can’t fathom. The love and glory within me could not be contained in the oceans of the world, so a little is bound to leak out here and there, as I go about by business today.
Our help and salvation comes not from our culture, the law, the systems of society, or the permission of other people. We look to the Lord alone.
So GO. Go and sing and hope and pray and give and love and proclaim and preach His awesome mightiness. Don't hold back. Don't give up. We are of those who do not quit and who persevere to the very end. Amen.
Get out of bed, Jerusalem!
Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight.
God’s bright glory has risen for you.
The whole earth is wrapped in darkness,
all people sunk in deep darkness,
But God rises on you,
his sunrise glory breaks over you.
Nations will come to your light,
kings to your sunburst brightness.
Look up! Look around!
Watch as they gather, watch as they approach you:
Your sons coming from great distances,
your daughters carried by their nannies.
When you see them coming you’ll smile—big smiles!
Your heart will swell and, yes, burst!
All those people returning by sea for the reunion,
a rich harvest of exiles gathered in from the nations!
and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord.
All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you;
the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;
they shall come up with acceptance on my altar,
and I will beautify my beautiful house.
—Isaiah 60:1-5 (MSG)