Wrestling…it is not an activity, it is a way of life. Same thing with faith – it is not something you do, it is who you are. As a wrestler we tend to go to extremes and this is why Jesus is so intriguing to us.
Jesus doesn't go half way – He is not content with being average or mediocre. He doesn’t understand the concept of quitting. In fact, Jesus was so intent on humanity understanding how He loves us that He joyfully went to the cross. Truth is, Jesus doesn't want anything, He wants everything. He doesn't want some part of us, He wants all of us.
Like Jesus, Mary was all in! Yeah she is world champion material indeed! In Luke 1:46-47 Mary exclaims, "My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior." These two lines are the opening for what is called The Magnificat (from the first word in the Latin translation). The opening words are filled with expectation and joy; the words used indicate both a continual habit of praising God and special bursts of joy. The words are an expression of a life that has surrendered everything to Christ.
God wants to be magnified, made great, in our crazy and sometimes dreary human lives. He wants our lives to reflect the glory of His radiance in both our bright days as well as our dark days. So what then does this mean – this "magnification" of God? It is something simple and yet everlasting, something only to be known as a miracle. It means that in everything, all of who we are, we are to let God be the Lord. Why? Because God is God.
To let God Himself be the Lord, to let Him reign in our thoughts, in our heart and soul, in our conscience, means a very simple relationship: God is God the Lord and as such He now wants to reign in my life and I can let him reign as Lord only in each step of my life – whether large or small – and that would mean to magnify God. This is what it would mean when we proclaim, "My soul magnifies (exalts) the Lord." Only when our hearts, our lives thirst – for The Way, The Truth, The Life – can we consume God's insane love such that our souls overflow with joy and exaltation for God.
A life overflowing with joy and exaltation for God is a life that lives out the truth of Christmas each and every day. It is a life that seeks to fight the good fight, to run the race with endurance. It is a life that sets before it Jesus Christ and intentionally steps into the joy of the cross (Hebrews 12:1-2).
As the end of the year draws near and the new one looms, let our hearts become bathed in the eternal waters of Jesus Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Let us allow the miracle of Christmas become so palpable that those around us are overwhelmed with the magnificence of God. Let us live out the beauty and paradox of faith – that through a baby who was born to die comes eternal life for those who step into His drama of reconciliation, redemption and salvation.
Are you willing to enter into the greatness of God so as to experience the most unconventional year (2014) you have ever known? A year bathed in His presence and overwhelmed by His blessings as we live out the incarnational love of a God whose magnificence always seems to be out of favor with this world.
“The Spirit and the bride say, "Come.” And let the one who hears say, "Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Revelation 22.17). Come, Lord Jesus.