Matthew 1:20-21; Psalm 139:11-18
A couple of weeks ago my husband was speaking in church, and he read a passage I have read so many times that I am far too familiar with it. Once you have read something several times you start to think you know what it says. And that is dangerous. .
As he read the words of Matthew 1:20-21 a new phrase was highlighted for me. I was hearing it for the first time, and it was dangerous for me. I knew it was a phrase the Spirit would use to change me.
Matthew 1:20b Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
Now, the angel was referring to Jesus—the Incarnate God. The angel was assuring Joseph that Mary had not been unfaithful and had not broken her vows. This manifestation Joseph saw in Mary had not been conceived by the natural ways of man and woman, but the Seed in her had been conceived by the Holy Spirit of God.
This phrase has become my prayer in recent weeks. These ten words have become the underlying whisper in the hidden places of me—the spaces I allow no one else to see.
My spirit has been dark and low in recent days. The thoughts and attitudes that well up in me are not of you. They are not conceived in you because they are not the attitude of Jesus. They are self-absorbed and narcissistic. They are petty, hard pebbles of resentment. My attitude is laced with a deceptive coat of self-pity. I don’t like what is manifesting in me.
Come now, O Holy Spirit. Conceive in me those things that are of the attitude of Jesus. Let what is birthed in the hidden places of my heart be pleasing to you. Knit together those things in the womb of me that when you bring them into the light you will be pleased. Meet me in my inmost places and weave your Son's attitude into the weft and warp of me.
I want the meditations of my heart conceived by your Spirit. If the centering of my heart is to be like Jesus—to give up the equality and rights I so demand, to set aside my personal ego, to shun accolades and shake off criticism—then the Spirit must conceive these in me. I am not capable of doing so.
And, Father, if the Spirit conceives the words, thoughts, attitudes of my heart then the words of my mouth will be honey and bread to those who hear me.
And then, only then, will Christmas be conceived in me.