Finally, here is the second post in the new Bread for the Journey blog! I am so sorry I was unable to publish this blog post at the promised time; I was delayed by a nasty accident. The next post will be published on Friday 21st, as scheduled.
NEW COLLECTION: FINDING REST AND PEACE IN THIS WINTER SEASON
Mindfulness is a hot topic right now, with magazines, books, TV programmes and conferences, all telling us the benefit of living in the present. Although there is an undoubted value in such a focus, the Bible tells it a little differently—it’s not just about what you do—it’s about who you’re with.
Pursuing the presence of God is the most important thing we can do. We were designed to live in His Presence—designed to have Him as our number one focus—and it is the short cut to a joy-filled life.
You make known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in Your Presence,
with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
In the context of His Presence, everything we do becomes an act of worship, an offering to Him.
…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
[1 Corinthians 10:31]
…whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
There is no division for Christians between spiritual and secular. Jesus came to redeem the commonplace and make it holy, to enable us to participate in the glory—it’s where we were meant to live. And the Name of Jesus releases His Kingdom power in our actions.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens….
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart
[Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11]
In the context of His Presence, even our lockdown chores, or Christmas checklists become things of beauty, and our faith-filled activities touch eternity.
So let’s combat stress by making our daily lives an opportunity for sacramental living: let’s take regular pauses, where we still the demands of the soul and seek His presence (see last post); and then let’s offer up each activity as an act of worship, asking Him to bless and release His power and grace through them.
This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
There is no division for Christians between spiritual and secular. Jesus came to redeem the commonplace and make it holy, to enable us to participate in the glory—it’s where we were meant to live.
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JOY-FILLED LIVES COUNTERACT STRESS
Many people feel so stressed by the demands of Christmas preparations that they don’t actually enjoy any of it. And it is quite common to hear sighs of relief after the season is over because it is finished for another year.
Our lives are supposed to be joy-filled—it’s a characteristic of the kingdom. And joy is key in counteracting Christmas-induced stress, and an essential source of energy!
The joy of the Lord is your strength
Part of living sacramentally is receiving the blessings of each day, with thanksgiving. If we have eyes to see, our days are filled with love-gifts from the Father, designed to make our hearts sparkle. What gifts of joy can we find this season? It will be different for each of us: maybe a seasonal ornament or a letter from a friend, perhaps this year’s first mince pie or a comic Christmas card, maybe a neighbour’s Christmas tree, or a favourite movie.
And we don’t have to own things to enjoy them. We can delight in a Christmas card design without buying a pack, revel in the artistry of a window display without craving the contents, and enjoy next door’s wreath without having to compete.
Let’s cultivate child-like attitudes (Matthew 18:23), delighting in simple things (or simply delighting in things), and rediscover our sense of wonder—after all, it’s an important kingdom attribute. And then let’s embrace our gifts of joy with thanksgiving.
How about keeping a record of your joy-gifts this season? (And share them with the community here!)
To read more about embracing life’s grace-gifts, click on the link below:
OVER TO YOU…
[Photo credits: Nick Fewings (presents); Andrew Ridley (leaves);
Jaikishan Patel (man with phone) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
Da Kraplak (type writer);
Merakist (social media)
@ Unsplash, with thanks]
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