Friday, "Meditate in your heart...and be still" -Psalm 4:4
"Still Life with Ginger Pot II", 1911-12, Piet Mondrian
To know what matters and what does not is the lesson that we long to be taught. Mondrian's Still life with Ginger Pot II shows us a geometrical tangle of incoherent lines, which might or might not have a meaning. But at the center of all this, pure, rounded and still, gleams the pot, the one satisfying certainty amid the existential chaos. It is only when we are still, when we open up to our inner reality, that the things in our life fall into coherence for us. We do not necessarily have to think this out: silence makes the order plain. But instead we quieten our restless minds, and then rise to find what we see, now, the essential.
Paul reminds the church in Galatia, victory is in Jesus. In his grace alone. Not our plans, our sinlessness, tireless striving, and not our love for God but our surrender to God's love in Christ for us, "19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; 20 and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,[g] who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification[h] comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing." - Galatians 2:19-21
Sometimes, victory is only discovered through surrender. Surrender means accepting that the battle has been won not on your terms, and you are willingly giving your life over to the authority of the winning side. It means taking a humble position and embracing what is, over how you would have it. Spiritual surrender is an act of faith, keeping hope alive by choosing defeat over death. It is the first act for those coming to salvation, and a continual habit of those walking with Christ. To spiritually surrender means to let go of control and trust God.
In the Methodist tradition, there developed an annual service called the "Watch Night". Think of the religious version of New Year's Eve. A time to remember your baptism and recommit yourself to God and God's grace. For the creature to trust its Creator. It was the habit of Methodist's to recite this prayer every year.
“I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt,
rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee
or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things,
let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.” image by Scott Erickson