Advent: Black Friday
Have you ever been shopping on Black Friday? People clamoring for doors to be opened and amazing deal to be found for the loved ones on their Christmas lists!!! It’s actually really exciting. I’ve done it once or twice. Most of the time, though, I honestly don’t go out on Black Friday because I am spending what little time I have with my St. Louis family sitting around eating and joking…playing games like scrabble, rummikub, and our family favorite, nerve solitaire with different groups of our giant, loud family…and then we eat some more!
But go back for a moment from dreaming of my holiday traditions and think about Black Friday sales. Even if you’ve never been to one, the news coverage always gives you a front row seat to what it looks like at the most popular places.
I guess I’m bringing up this topic because to me, it relates to two important things in my life…and yours, too.
I remember thinking, when I first started practicing yoga, that yoga was something for skinny people, flexible people, strong people. People who had time…time to sit during a workout and breathe. People who had time for working out…or breathing…..all of which it seemed was not accessible to me.
I could never look like those people on yoga magazines or quiet my mind enough to have it affect my body and spirit deeply. I couldn’t really appreciate yoga AND get a decent workout AND find time to pray…I had a job and little kids and a husband…….yoga just wasn’t for the likes of me.
In a somewhat similar way, throughout ages, there have been people who didn’t think that the love of God was for them. Well, maybe they knew that God loved them, but His love, His time, His arms were not meant to wrap around the likes of them. Have you ever had a time in your life when it seemed like the Lord was distant or inaccessible?
Many people felt that way in the old testament. Then Jesus came…He challenged the ways of thinking that said that God was too big to care about our little daily lives. That maybe God was a God only of wrath and power, but not of gentleness and forgiveness. He challenged the ways of churches that said that only the holiest of holies got to be in the inner sanctum of places of worship.
In fact, in Jewish traditions, the Holy of Holies was entered upon once a year only, and by the highest priest only. And he could only go just beyond the veil (that was actually about 60 feet high!!! And it was about 4 inches thick!!! It took many men to pull this veil made of twisted linen material apart only enough to let the high priest beyond the veil, where he was to make atonement for the sins of all of Israel…It was such an ordeal that the high priest even had a rope tied around his ankle in case he died back there because no one else could enter…only him and only on that day).
Picture in your mind, for a moment, the first time you were in a yoga class and felt like a yogi. Or maybe the first time you told someone, “oh, I am going to yoga today,” or “the other day when I was doing yoga….” You are here in this class doing yoga. You’re breathing, moving, challenging your mind and spirit to find peace in Jesus during class. This is accessible to the likes of you!
The moment of Jesus’s death, that veil tore from top to bottom! The holy of holies was made accessible to all. Our Father’s love was made accessible to us. An inheritance with Jesus for all eternity was made ours.
Take a deep breath and let that sink in for a moment. With Jesus’s sacrifice, our Father, our inheritance with Him is not just for others, the holiest, the skinniest, the most skilled or learned…but to all of us regardless of what we think we can offer.
You are here, about to do yoga…it IS accessible to you!
You are saved, heaven is your inheritance…Jesus made that accessible to all of us.
When you see people rushing through the doors of a store this holiday season, note their excitement, see them rush to get a fantastic deal on something that they thought may not have been accessible to them at a higher price or on another day. Stop for just a moment and picture the veil being torn in your own mind and imagine yourself excited to have the opportunity to access what has been made available to you through Jesus!
Breathe that in and deeply acknowledge the great sacrifice that was made to let us in on glory and salvation…thank the Lord for sending us a Son willing take us beyond the veil.