"And there appeared to him an angel from heaven strengthening him." Luke 22.43
|The Last Night of Jesus by Stefan Kuhn|
Holidays can be such a press of sacrifice for us. Oh, nothing like Jesus' sacrifice ... of humbling himself and becoming human, born in the messiness of childbirth ... or of humbling himself and giving his life, dying in the messiness of crucifixion. But, the press of the holidays can be a place where we learn ... even a little ... about humbling ourselves in the messiness of life. The press of the holidays can be our opportunity to experience and practice "His divine power [which] has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him - Jesus! - who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature..."
(2 Peter 1.3-4a)
I don't know about you, but that is astonishing to me ... simply astonishing that I may become a partaker of the divine nature. Me ... in all my brokenness and frailty and failure? Yes, even me. Even you. Because of Jesus himself, His divine power, which has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.
The Father sent an angel from heaven to strengthen Jesus in his press. Jesus sends himself, his divine power to help us in ours. In Him we have faith. And, because of that faith we practice virtue ... like Him. And, that virtue gives us deeper knowledge ... of Him. And, that knowledge enables us to have greater self-control ... like Him. And, self-control grows a steadfastness within us ... like Him. And that steadfastness increases godliness ... like Him. And, godliness nurtures brotherly affection ... in Him. And, brotherly affection blooms into love ... as Jesus loves. The divine nature growing in us ... in Him.
Is this easy? I think not. After all it's in a press that we learn these things. So, during the holiday press, we can choose to grow like a green olive tree ... like those in the garden ... as we look to and ask our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ to send to us divine power to trust in the steadfast love of God and wait upon his name ... to be like Him. When we do this we say with Jesus, "Nevertheless, not my will but yours, be done" in me and through me.
Please do let me know if an angel appears.