Thursday, February 21, 2013

pouring out

i was thinking about fasting last week, fasting God's fast - a fast of goodness, of pouring out, a blessing, a joy.

and Jesus was always pouring Himself out.  for people in need - hungry, blind, sick, sin-soaked.  He met everyone where they were, in their need, and poured Himself out for them. 

so i gave up snacking for lent.  not an onerous fast, i thought, but one that i can do.  i can give this sacrifice, this little pouring out.  and of course, God's fasting is one that blesses others, so to make my fast His, i decided to pray for my sunday school girls every time i wanted to but didn't reach for a snack.

let there be no doubt: there has been lots of praying.  (i was actually really surprised by how frequently i swing the cupboard doors open, browse through the fridge, absent-mindedly reach out to nibble from sam's tray.)

on thursday, we had friends over for a birthday party in the evening.  i made that snack my supper, and so the gap from lunchtime to party time was longer than usual.  i was so tempted to eat, especially when i was preparing supper for everyone else, and making the party treats on top of that.  but i wanted to truly pour out - pour out.  so i prayed, and prayed again, for my sunday school class, and for others too.  

this verse of poetry was weaving through my thoughts -

measure thy life by loss and not by gain; 
not by the wine drunk, but by the wine poured forth. 
for love's strength standeth in love's sacrifice, 
and he that suffereth most hath most to give.
-hugo bassi

so today, thinking about that phrase the wine poured forth, i turned to john 2 to read about Jesus' first recorded miracle.  it's always struck me as such a funny one to include - but today i got it.

it's a picture of him.  he was telling his own story in his own medium - miracles.

there are these pots - six big stone pots, ready to be filled with water for purification.  and Jesus tells the servants to fill them with water.  like they do every day. this ordinary rite, this ordinary task, this ordinary life.

but when it was poured out, it was no longer water.
poured out.

Jesus was poured out for us.  not merely a humble carpenter's son, no; his earthen vessel contained heaven's glory.  his pouring out for our joy.  his pouring out of himself, sweet blessing and sacrifice.

the wine was poured out at a wedding - a marriage feast.  for love.
he poured his life out in love.  crazy, hungry, absolute love.

measure thy life by loss and not by gain; 
not by the wine drunk, but by the wine poured forth. 
for love's strength standeth in love's sacrifice, 
and he that suffereth most hath most to give.

Jesus' life was this fast that He chose - this fast of pouring out, this fast of blessing and love and joy.

oh, i'm so glad i worship this God!

1 comment:

  1. God uses your words to help melt my heart. I love your thoughts about that miracle. Only became wine in the pouring out....I've had a couple of days with that marinating in my heart. Thank you!

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