Get Ready for Lent

by Christine Sine
Matai Bay

Matai Bay by Ana Lisa De Jong


By Ana Lisa De Jong

Today reading Christine Sine’s beautiful prayer on her Godspace Post ‘Meditation Monday – A Prayer for Ash Wednesday’ I was struck by these words, ‘may this journey of Lent get us ready, to be God’s good news of hope and wholeness and resurrection life’.  Meditation Monday – A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

God has been teaching me much about the Kingdom of God lately. As I consider the Holy Spirit’s whisperings, I think how the teachings come from many different directions, and together form a picture of what the Holy Spirit seeks to impress upon me. In other words, ‘the radio programme I just heard’, or ‘the journal entry I wrote last week’, or ‘the prayer I just read’, or ‘the conversation I had’, or ‘the bible verse that jumped out at me’, they are all means God uses to get my attention, (which normally jumps around like a puppet on a string), and draw my focus to a message or idea that he wants to me to understand deeper, or even to recall once again! At the moment, for me, it’s the Kingdom of God. And the recent revelation that came to mind was that though the Kingdom of God is within us, it is not meant to remain within us, but is meant to impact the world around us. We are transformed to transform the world in which we live, through the sharing of the Kingdom within us.   The Kingdom is evolving. By sharing the Kingdom we can have a hand in transforming the present, and future of those around us. We are creative beings, made by a creator God. The creating is never over. I look down at the bookmark in my journal as I write this. It reads, ‘In a word what I am saying is, ‘Grow up. You are Kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God created identity. Live generously and graciously towards others, the way God lives towards you.’, Matthew 5:48 (The Message). And I remember a poem written a couple of years earlier, on the theme of passing on what we have been given.

Life – As a Gift

If life is indeed a gift,
then we being alive, must bear the gifts of life.

Our whole and entire purpose…

to breathe it in,
to grow in its nourishment,
to reproduce it, to extend it.
It was given to BE PASSED ON.

Fishes and loaves to feed thousands,
dandelion seeds aloft on the wind.
To land where they will,
and take root where they can,
and bring and give new life.

If life is a gift
then we, the receivers of such a gift;
unwrap it to find
a gift, within a gift, within a gift.
And at the centre – a seed.

A seed, not to be stored,
not to be hidden,
not to be discounted,
or disregarded.

But to be planted,
nurtured, encouraged;
cultivated to full and beautiful expression.
And in its strong and tender growth
harvested and released….

Released to grow another harvest.
Released to inspire another gift.
Released to encourage another’s faith.
Released to embolden another believer,
to take their seed out of the dark.

We pour it out, until we are empty.
But we refill with each and every breath,
of the Holy Spirit;
who is not only the giver of gifts,
but the one and only greatest gift.

In whom is truth, and light and ‘fullness’ of life.
His fullness flowing into us, that we might release it.
A gift given that we might re-gift it,
life given for us to respond to Him,
with the gift of our life.

All the tentative talents and fledging abilities,
within that gift of life, harnessed and then
passed on, shared out,
given back, in order that they might flourish…

for His purposes.



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Joy Lenton February 18, 2016 - 8:57 am

Beautiful reflective post and poem. These words especially spoke to me:
“If life is a gift
then we, the receivers of such a gift;
unwrap it to find
a gift, within a gift, within a gift.
And at the centre – a seed.”
They represent the unique mystery of life, incarnation and growth. We receive in order to give away. Our lives are gifted with grace upon grace as God pours His all into us. The seed of faith lies dormant until fed, watered and given access to the light. But it multiplies at God’s hands as we nurture it and offer as manna for others. Thank you for this inspiring word, Ana Lisa! Bless you for sharing what God is laying on your heart and enriching our understanding of the Kingdom within as we read your words.

Lisa de Jong February 18, 2016 - 9:47 am

Thank you Joy. So well said. ‘Our lives are gifted with grace upon grace…. The seed of faith lies dormant until fed, watered and given access to the light and multiplies in God’s hand.’ Thank you and bless you also as you bear his gifts to others, for the enrichment of others, who then pass them on:)

jennethsuzanne February 18, 2016 - 9:59 am

“…to take their seed out of the dark.” Thank you Ana Lisa for sharing this beautiful reflection of the Kingdom, so generously shared.

Lisa de Jong February 18, 2016 - 11:53 am

Thank you Jenneth. I remember the day I wrote this poem. We had a prophetic word at church about our gifts being like dandelion seeds aloft on the wind, taking root and flourishing. It is so true that we can look to nature for parallels in God’s kingdom. And isn’t is so that when bless someone with our gifts it often encourages them to nurture their own, and bravely bring them into the light (which was how it was for me when I started writing). It can be a slow germination in the ground but take them out into the light and then we see what was germinating all along as it grows into the blessing God had planned. Bless you.

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