the gleam of glory through our story

It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to child or man that hears it, when the ‘turn’ comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art … In such stories, when the sudden ‘turn’ comes we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart’s desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very web of story, and lets a gleam come through. J.R.R. Tolkien

Many of us have lived lives that could fall under the dramatic, comedic or fairy tale romantic categories. At times, my life has glimpses of all three.

The drama serves to show the hard aspects of life. The ups & downs we all face as we journey through life. The losses, the griefs, the goodbyes, the struggles. The dramatic edge is stark, and realistic.

Comedy serves as relief. A good laugh can lighten our load, leaving us joyful despite the drama going on in our lives. I tend to be a bit of a klutz, pun quipper & at time funny gal, and try to help others enjoy life a bit more when they spend time with me.

But the fairy tale romantic aspect of my life?

That’s where the best action is.

Not because i spend all time reading or watching fairy tales, but because it is part of my story.

My Knight in heavenly armor rode in on a white steed to rescue me when I fell into the pit of my despair, helplessness and sin.

He lifted me up, cleaned me thoroughly, clothed me in the white of His pure love & crown of His presence, and took me for His own.

I am my Beloved’s and He is mine!

He not only gave me His name, but renamed me as only the One who can see the embers of promise can do to call them to life.

I had no idea that life held such promise, purpose or passion before I encountered Him so powerfully.

Romance entered my life along with His glory.

You see, when God makes us His, Holy Spirit enters us. The glory moves on in within.

Glory becomes part of my story.
And part of yours too!

We can catches these glimpses when we look back on our day, or hear another believer’s testimony. His glory will always shine through a believer who is choosing to be used by Him.

His Glory echoes through encouraging words, in glimmers of kind acts, radiates through love laid down to serve one another, glows as we worship and praise Him.

The end of my story? I have the best ending of any fairy tale imaginable, as I get to live with my eternal Groom forever more, not just while here on earth!

He cannot help but show more of Himself as we draw close & press in to His Presence. We were designed to reveal His glory to one another, making Him known through how we show love and care.

May you see the glimpses of His glory through all the drama, action, comedy, and fairy tale hopes & dreams you may have.

Unlike the movies or books, His glory will last forever.

And those who choose Him? Get to see Him move mightily through our stories 🙂

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I can hardly wait to see Cinderella, one of my fave fairy tales through which I believe God has revealed part of His heart for restoration for His bride. I know it is just a fairy tale. but I love sensing that echo of His love through it, and the thrill my heart gets when the prince finds her!

preparing the way- Matthew

The family tree of Jesus traces back to Abraham on his earthly father’s side. How cool is that?!

If you know anything about families, you know as well as I do that every family has a relative or two who no one really likes to talk about in public.

Jesus’ fraternal lineage has quite a collection of black sheep or those with a not so great track record:

Abraham almost sacrificed his son with wife Sarah, Isaac.
Isaac married two women, siring Jacob who cheated his brother out of his birthright to inherit, and fathered Judah, who slept with his disguised widowed daughter in law Tamar and got her pregnant with twins.
Skip 5 generations down to farmer Boaz, son of Salmon and Rahab the prostitute, who married foreigner Ruth, whose son Obed is grandfather to King David, the shepherd musician with several wives.

All that soap opera living in only 14 generations! Makes you wonder why Matthew thought to list this lineage, hmm?

The next 14 generations ruled Israel, which quickly became Judah, and are even more shocking:

David’s heir, Solomon, was born to the wife David stole from Uriah, whom he arranged to have killed at war. Solomon was the wisest & wealthiest of the kings, yet had over 900 women in the harem & castle! Solomon’s son Rehoboam had a few good years, as did his son Abijah, but the kingdom split and went downhill under them. Asa & Jehoshaphat, the next two kings followed God but then Joram murdered his brothers to keep his crown, and his son Uzziah wasn’t much better. Next, Jotham followed God, but his son Ahaz did not. Hezekiah was one of two exceptional kings centered out as ‘God first’ men, but between Hezekiah & Josiah were the two most evil of Judah’s kings: Manasseh, & Amon (who was so bad his own servants assassinated him!) His son Josiah (totally sold out to God) fathered Jehoiachin who strayed from God as the last king before exile in Babylon.

Up & down, this 14 generations reads like a roller coaster of faith versus evil.

Things are more subdued after the exiles return from Babylon, and the kingly blood running through their veins doesn’t seem to keep the next 14 generations from Jeconiah to Joseph from working hard with their hands. Life as a carpenter would not have been easy when times were tough financially, under Roman rule.
How the mighty had fallen.

This lineage reveals how much we all need a Saviour.

Because without faith, we all need grace.

When grace was extended, miracles occurred

When God was followed,
blessing resulted.

There was purpose in God’s preparing the way through Joseph’s blood line.

No one could say he didn’t come from good stock- kingly blood has always been worthy of respect.

The Bible foretold the Saviour would come from David’s line, and so He will.

What we see in Matthew 1: 1-17?

A God who intimately knows us all, who doesn’t hold the mistakes of those who turn to Him against them, and by naming each generation, shows us every one matters.

Even if it needs to take 42 generations to do, God is in control of thus story.

As a tax collector, Matthew would have spent a great amount of time crunching numbers and setting value using his scales.
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The fact Matthew is so detail oriented, specifically mentioning the kings and the women he does on Jesus’ father’s family tree reminds me it is not the outside God is concerned with…but the heart that truly matters.

Tomorrow, how does Mark show us how God prepared the way?