Five Minute Friday: connect

When the red tulips in the blue teapot are fully blown, and outside freezing rain collects white on rooftops and cartops, and the baby sleeps, at last, across your lap.

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January the sixth: Epiphany.

The wise men came out of the East after a star, and here the wisdom of God took the foolishness of man — astrology? divination? — and led them on into what looked like greater folly: God, born of a virgin? Deity, wrapped in helpless humanity?

We have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.

Our Western mindset — reason! logic! — leaves no room for such connections. “Correlation does not imply causation;” stars and babies occur without reference to one another; and we cannot, by scientific experimentation, make God incarnate, if we believe in God at all.

Yet God grants faith, even in the midst of such folly: “not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, that no one may boast.

Jews demand signs, Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified . . . the power of God and the wisdom of God. And it is God, only and always God, who can open our eyes to see Him.

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So maybe I took Kate’s Five Minute Friday prompt as the loosest jumping-off-place for my post, and maybe I wrote for more than five minutes, because my soul needed it, and maybe I’m going to link up anyway, because it’s a way of connecting now. But if you want to connect to other posts on this prompt, that pink “connect” button is the one for you. Happy New Year!

©2017 by Stacy Crouch

 

 

Five Minute Friday: focus

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It was an art perfected on lazy sunlit afternoons: distilling the whole of the sun’s magnificent power into one blinding pinpoint through the lens of a magnifying glass. It took patience, a steady hand, and an eye that could keep gazing in spite of tears from the power of the focused sun.

And then there was the reward, when light and glass aligned just right: the sudden curl of smoke, perhaps an almost-flame at the edge of the newly-created black burn line.

Delighted, I used the sun to burn holes through leaves and write my name on small blocks of wood. I didn’t know that I was learning things about lenses and light.

Outside today the sunlight is bright and cold, and I think of how the whole fullness of deity was brought into focus in the frail human frame of the Christ, how, through Jesus, God the consuming fire is distilled into a blinding pinpoint capable of burning a man’s heart within him.

Under His patient hand and eye, we see the curl smoke and the edge of flame, and find that we ourselves now bear His name.

The Old Testament God thunders out “You are mine,” and Christ’s nail-torn hands show us how this is true.

focusToday I link up with Kate Motaung and her Five Minute Friday crew, writing on her prompt, focus. The button above will take you to her site to read more about it and join in if you wish.

©2016 by Stacy Crouch

Christmas: the third day

It rains, on this, the third day of Christmas, and my nose drips perpetually, and I can’t seem to focus on piano practice, or on reading, or on much of anything else. And it rains.

There’s so much preparation for Christmas: a long build-up with decorations and music and shopping and cooking and planning. And then it’s over and we trickle toward the new year — an arbitrary marker of a cycle of days — in which we’ll mostly continue all the old things with just one digit’s difference at the end.

But Christ wasn’t born just so He could have gorgeously decorated birthday celebrations every year and then be packed away into a dark closet until the next anniversary. He came to illumine a whole world of darkness, and the darkness has not, cannot, overcome that light.

He is making all things new, not in the manner of the arbitrary “fresh start” each new year brings, but actually changing the shape of reality. He gives sight to sightless eyes and makes deaf ears hear. He makes useless legs leap and dance. He makes stone hearts into flesh. He makes the dead live.

Christ is not packed away with nativity scenes; the tomb could not hold Him. He has promised to be with us always, and with Him each day we step forward, not in a limited set of finite years, but toward eternity.

So that though the old year trickles towards its close, because Christ came — because God put on a human body and was crucified for our sins, buried, and rose again on the third day — the difference is not one measly digit, but uncountable, immeasurable, glorious.

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©2014 by Stacy Nott