Have you ever gone on a God Hunt? A God Hunt begins when you teach yourself to look for God’s hand at work in the every day occurrences of your life. Here’s one of my personal God Hunt Sightings:
A Scripture reading from Morning Prayer last week gave me some pause: Why would the compiler include that reading in this second week of Advent?
“Near the cross of Jesus, stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdela. Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home” (John 19:25-27).
Don’t you think that’s an odd Scripture for the season leading up to Christmas? It seems to me it would be more suitable for the Lenten season, which leads to Easter. And yet, Christ Himself compares His death to a kind of birth:
“When a woman is in labor, she has pain because her hour as come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world” (John 16:21-22).
In fact, this imagery is intertwined throughout much of the Old and the New Testament.
After years of ministry, I know the season of Christmas is often the hardest part of the year for many. That first holiday after the death of a loved one is filled with the angst of ragged emotional surprises. Instead of celebration, the season is laden with jugular attacks, then, to be reminded in Advent—as we look toward the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child—that there is an agony that accompanies love, the agony of giving birth, the puzzlement of raising an exceptional child, the sword that pierces a mother’s soul when she sees him die.
How fitting to be reminded in Advent—that Jesus, while enduring the torture of crucifixion, tenderly, tenderly remembered His mother, a woman who after His death would need protection and shelter and comfort. Birth and life—aren’t they always commingled? A woman faces near-death in order to give life. A Son enters death in order to provide everlasting life.
What a mystery it all is—and what a wonder! I spy God!
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.