Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Following a Contrite Heart

I made all this! I own all this!"
   God's Decree.
"But there is something I'm looking for:
   a person simple and plain,
   reverently responsive to what I say. 
--Isaiah 66:1b-2 (The Message)
What is it to be plain and simple so as to attract God's notice?  A lot of people in our society strive to be noticed.  Whether it's their enormous SUV, the purse, the walk, or the talk so many like to be viewed as well off and sophisticated.  God doesn't pick the ones flush with cash and an attitude, though.  God already owns the universe, He doesn't really need ostentatious made-up people putting on airs.  Humble people with contrite spirits are who God is looking to use to bring the Kingdom of God into reality.  Mary was the kind of person for whom God was looking: plain, simple and utterly responsive to a even the largest mind-boggling propositions.  In Jesus' mother, Mary, we see the profound simplicity that God was after.  She was young and just minding her own business before the Angel Gabriel put her in the spotlight at the center of the world religious stage.  Her dialogue with Gabriel was humble and demure.  Yet, we see through Jesus' life into hers - a courageous woman, standing firmly supportive, quiet and quick to serve, and able to endure watching a gruesome Roman execution of her oldest child.

The thought of being chosen to fill such an ambitious role in God's plans is daunting; yet having the thought reveals my own lack of a contrite heart.  A contrite heart would say, "I am not significant enough to worry about it, and if God chooses me then He'd better supply the means: 'Let it be to me according to Your Word'."  So, with my less than contrite heart I bow my head and try again.  As John Wesley put it, "I am no longer my own, but thine."  Put me to what Thou will.

Bless my heart O my Soul, create it clean and empower it to be amidst the people responding to them with Your care and affections.  Amen.   

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