Advent 2016

When you realize you’re approaching faith as a how-to and not a Who-to.

You know those toys you have to put together for the tiny tots at Christmas? The ones with lots of pieces and the step by step manual in several languages. Call me weird, but I love them. I embrace the challenge of putting together furniture and toys. I carefully place parts out on the floor and turn to Step One of the manual. There’s just something about opening a rattling box of separate items and having an exact replica of the picture on the box when you’re done. I guess you could say I’m a project girl.

The problem is the project mentality sort of bleeds into many areas of my life. Work, home, parenting…even my own spiritual growth. I would like a step by step approach to help me get the end product I desire. If I’m not careful I find myself defining the steps to get closer to God like a ladder reaching to heaven. 
Step One…pray thirty minutes a day.
Step Two…worship every Sunday.
Step Three…read two chapters in the Bible.
Step Four…and Step Five…and Step Six…
I could go on and on and on. Don’t misunderstand. Prayer, worship, and studying God’s word are important to our faith. But when you’re a project minded person, they can become your faith and here lies the issue.
This morning’s devotional reads,

Jesus doesn’t show you the steps to get to heaven–Jesus is the steps to heaven.  Jesus doesn’t merely come down to show you the way up–Jesus comes down to make Himself into the Way to carry you up.  Jesus doesn’t ultimately give you a how-to, because Christianity is ultimately about Who-to. Every religion, every program, every self-help book is about steps you have to take. Jesus is the only One who becomes the step–to take you.–Ann Voskamp

Ouch! It stings a bit, but I needed it. I needed to be reminded this journey I’m on is not about taking perfect steps spelled out in a manual. It is about the way…the Way I get there.

God provided a Way right there in the manger.

The Way’s name…Jesus. 

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