Amy Grant sang a beautiful Christmas song called Breath of Heaven. It is a song of praise and soul work from Mary, the mother of Jesus. She is unsure of the physical, emotional, and spiritual responsibility that has been placed within her.
Some of the lyrics:
I am waiting, in a silent prayer
I am frightened, by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now, be with me now.
Breath of Heaven, hold me together
Be forever near me, breath of Heaven
Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness, for you are holy,
Breath of Heaven.
Do you wonder when you watch my face,
If a wiser one should have had my place?
But I offer all I am for the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong, help me be strong,
Help me be strong, help me.
As I worshiped to this song one morning getting ready for work, I was reminded of how we, as Christians, carry Jesus within us. We are not Mary but Jesus shared something very important:
And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
More than that….
At Christmas there is a huge focus on Mary, the mother of Jesus. We are in such awe of her bravery, her willingness, and Joseph’s ability to care for her during a time in which she would have been stoned for her pregnancy.
Jesus is telling us there is “more than that” to understand. We can linger there to remember all that the Savior has done, but spend most of our time considering the Savior’s message to the world today.
Jesus was the Word in flesh, and He dwelt among us. He is the Word! Do you hear Him? Do you know His Word and trust in the infallibility of His Word? Do you keep it?
Definition of Keep: (emphasize “to continue”)
: to continue having or holding (something) : to not return, lose, sell, give away, or throw away (something)
: to continue in a specified state, condition, or position
: to cause (someone or something) to continue in a specified state, condition, or position
The world has not changed much since the time of Jesus’ work on earth. We’ve become sophisticated and advanced, but the same struggles and sins exist. In fact, perhaps, we’ve become desensitized to the world and watered down our faith to fit in–rationalize. God says our hearts are bent towards deception, and we need a relationship with Jesus to fix this state. We are good at rationalizing to create our own standards and comfort.
Just like Mary struggled with the responsibility of Jesus within her, so do we as Christians. Following God’s Word–keeping it–is the work of a faithful warrior. It’s hard to face the world outside your Christian bubble and take a stand in love. Once you see the world through the eyes of Jesus your heart breaks, your mind is filled with overwhelming responsibility, and your soul aches for Jesus to heal and work in our World. Lord, have mercy on us. Forgive us. Bring us back to You, and Your Word.
A dear friend of mine shared that her husband reminds her often that “God is in control.” We discussed that it becomes a balance of knowing that God is in control, and the world is not ours to fix–that’s His job. We, as Christians who love Jesus and strive to keep His Word, are called to worship Him and go where He is working. We don’t invite God along with us! We live, move, and have our being in Him.
Acts 17:28 28 We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’
Where is God calling you? Is it out of a situation you’ve rationalized? Is it to heal or offer forgiveness to yourself, or someone else? Is it to take a stand in love? Maybe, He is physically calling you to go and serve? More than that, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.
Breath of Heaven Video: Amy Grant