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2022-12-23 | Matthew 1-2 | Best Supporting ActorThey had reached the edge of the river. On the other side lived all the promises of the Father. All they had to do is step in and cross over. In your mind, no doubt, this imagery paints the Israelites at the bank of the Jordan looking over at the promised land. Yet, for Christians there’s more, so much more. Crossing over means finding rest, and rest means you have come to live in such a place that faith, and I mean complete faith, has become the blood that flows in your arteries and veins. Your faith is the lifeblood that is pushed around by your every heartbeat.

In Christian vernacular rest means Christlike perfection, and perfection means that the kingdom of heaven has become the pulse bounding from your beating heart. In other words, God’s heartbeat has become your heartbeat. And nowhere is the heartbeat of God better felt than in the Gospel narrative of Matthew—reading it is as if you are pressed against God’s bosom. I “fear” the Gospels! They are His Holy Ground! Dare we step on that soil with dirty feet. Dare we echo His words with unclean lips. Cross over, yes, take a strong stand on the land He has promised, but do so with reverence, awe and extreme gratitude, for such privilege would be unimaginable, had He not synchronized our hearts with His. Dare you step over? The best way to keep your heartbeat synchronized with God’s is to listen and obey, regardless of what you hear. Dare you go to that place? It’s scary, but maybe it’s okay, for a while, to feel like a wounded bird, flying in circles, searching for a perch on which to land, knowing you won’t find one just yet, at least not now.

This comes to mind if we stay with the imagery of our wounded bird—imagine a homing pigeon. They are locked onto from where they came and they are trained to return, to end up at their origin, no matter how far the journey—no matter how long it takes. You were crafted in God’s image and you are being trained to return to that image, no matter how far the journey—no matter how long it takes. What does that training look like? Listen for His voice; it’s calling you home! And, obey immediately, or your journey will take so much longer than necessary, and might even end in tragedy. The early chapters of Matthew demonstrate this perfectly.

Joseph was pressed into God’s bosom, locked onto His voice; and had he not been or had he not obeyed immediately, history altering tragedies would have ensued at each stage of his instruction. Everything, and I mean everything hinges on your ears to hear God’s heart and your willingness to obey—and I mean everything! So, home in, even if you have to fly in circles for a while!