Cling to Me

We’ve heard the story on Easter Sundays how Mary went looking for Jesus body in the tomb.  What she was the empty chamber, two Angels and a person she thought was a gardener.  In one of the sweetest moments in scripture, we see her fear and despair turn to wonder and joy as she recognizes the voice of her Lord.

Her response was completely natural.  She hugged Him.

But He has to push her away.  I always wondered about that.

“Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’””

‭‭John‬ ‭20:17‬ ‭MSG‬‬

I’ll admit, I don’t understand this.  The only thing I would want to do, the only thing I still want to do is hold onto Him.

Maybe you’re wondering what this has to do with Christmas.

I have friends who struggle with depression and addiction.  These are good people who are hurting deeply with seemingly no way to freedom, at least no lasting way.  There are friends who have lost brothers, children, parents, who face every holiday knowing they will never be able to see their loved one again on this earth.  There are women and children, and yes, men too, who face this season as slaves of human trafficking.

I have no easy answers, no quick fixes for these overwhelming problems.  

But I can tell you where to start.

You see, Jesus has “ascended”.  Jesus rose from the dead, conquered sin and death, and is now “seated with God”.  It is perfectly acceptable for us to cling to Him now. 

We can go to Him in worship, not just seeking an emotional high.  We can tell Him our problems.  We can open our hearts.  We can fall on our knees.

When we hurt, we close off, push people away, protect ourselves.  Jesus ascended so that we could and would cling to Him.

“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.””

‭‭John‬ ‭12:32‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I know that when I get to heaven I want to spend the first million years like a kid wrapped around His daddy’s leg.  I think He is inviting me, this Christmas, to start living that way now.

I’m So Amazed

I’m so amazed by your mercy

I’m so amazed by your love

I’m so amazed that you came down on Christmas Day

I’m so amazed by your greatness

That You gave it up for me

I’m so amazed that you came down on Christmas Day

God’s Word that made the stars in the heavens

Became a child one Holy night

Let go His father’s hand

To reach for everyone

So they could finally be alive

 

There’s more to this but didn’t want to plug my own poetry.

 

I wanted to write a song to explain what I thought of Jesus and the audacity it took for him to lay aside his position in heaven to rescue us.  I wanted to express, somehow, an appreciation for what we treat with ignorance and contempt so much of the time.  Words are so inadequate.  Our hearts, our minds can’t wrap themselves around what took place.

We are coming up on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Our hearts can be so caught up in trappings, in dealing with family, in buying and preparing, and rushing.  Every year we hear the words, see the movies, read the stories.  Can we forget everything, if only for a few minutes each day, and focus our attention on Jesus, who left it all for us?  Can we take a deep breath and listen for His voice, His heart?

 

Thank You daddy for the words and melody for a song.  Thank you so much more for what can’t be explained.  Thank You Jesus.  My Hero, my King.

English: "Do you recognize Jesus?" i...
English: “Do you recognize Jesus?” is a collage that I made from oil pastel portraits which I drew in Chicago in the summer and fall of 2010. It can be folded in three and used as a Christmas card. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)