Sarah Francis Martin is a wife, mother, friend, mentor, author and wanna be artist. Shehas a passion to encourage women to make Jesus famous in every part of life. She is the author of Just RISE UP!: A Call To Make Jesus Famous (Thomas Nelson 2012). Sarah's relevant and conversational style will invigorate readers to live rise up off the couch of complacency live with faith-filled purpose for the renown of Jesus . When Sarah is not typing away at her laptop you can usually find her getting her hands messy with craft paint. Check out more at www.liveitoutblog.com.
Today I have something really neat to share with you. Below, with in our Advent Awe and Wonder words, you will see beautiful art from one of my most favorite people, Junelle Jacobsen. Junelle is a friend, a mentor, a teacher and an all around amazing chick. As I've taken art classes online from her, God has weaved our hearts together. She teaches me to really see the world around me. I mean, really open my eyes to see and experience God's wonder around me. And then...we make art from it. I've been on an amazing creative journey over the past two years and I have Junelle to thank for that. She is a pure example of one who recognizes her God-given talents and she uses them as the precious gift they are.
A couple of weeks ago I asked Junelle to send me some pictures of her art inspired by the Christmas/Advent season. I completely expected her to send something she's made in the past. No...she made something special just for US today. Be blessed by her beautiful depiction of Mary, the mother of Jesus as we read the Magnificat in our Scripture reading today.
Advent Scripture from THE VOICE Advent Readings:
Mary: My soul lifts up the Lord! My spirit celebrates God, my Liberator! For though I’m God’s humble servant, God has noticed me. Now and forever, I will be considered blessed by all generations. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; holy is God’s name! From generation to generation, God’s lovingkindness endures for those who revere Him.
God’s arm has accomplished mighty deeds. The proud in mind and heart, God has sent away in disarray. The rulers from their high positions of power, God has brought down low. And those who were humble and lowly, God has elevated with dignity. The hungry—God has filled with fine food. The rich—God has dismissed with nothing in their hands. To Israel, God’s servant, God has given help, As promised to our ancestors, remembering Abraham and his descendants in mercy forever.
An audience of ONE is to whom Mary proclaimed her worship that day where she reunited with her cousin Elizabeth who too would give birth miraculously to a baby boy--John. John...the one who would make way for the coming of the Lord. That long journey all alone as she sought comfort and understanding by Elizabeth made her pregnant body weary. But seeing––Elizabeth who also experienced the Awe and Wonder of God refreshed –– her soul, refreshed her understanding of her role in this mind baffling, twists and turns that we now read as the Nativity story.
**Art by Junelle Jacobsen**
An audience of ONE is to whom she magnified––to whom she proclaimed what is traditionally know as Mary's Magnificat. Many Bible translations use the words "My soul magnifies the Lord." Mary opened up her tender heart. Mary spread her arms out wide. Mary lifted up her soul (verse 1). Mary put aside her own needs, the implications of this miraculous conception, the fear of becoming a mother, the uncertainty, the confusion––she put this aside to magnify the Lord. All that weighed heavy on her heart paled in comparison to her need to proclaim the fame of Her God...
**Art by Junelle Jacobsen**
To and audience of ONE. We know not who exactly stood around Mary to record this eloquent worship but we do see the purity and humility that enveloped Mary. I don't think it matters who stood around to witness this magnificent interaction with the Mother of Jesus toward the Ultimate Heavenly Father who chose HER for this world changing job of raising the son of God. These words were for no one's benefit except for her audience of ONE.
Awe and Wonder:
When we send worship to our very one audience of ONE the heavens break open and we join the multitude of angel's whose sole job is to continually praise and sing and proclaim the greatness of the Almighty. Can you imagine? We join in with angels! God doesn't need our worship. He wants our worship. He deserves our worship.
Though Mary's powerful words in Luke 1 resound through the ages, our own worship of the King is just as impactful and satisfying to God. Let the Magnificat serve as a template, serve as encouragement of what happens when a woman recognizes her role––her place––before the King of Kings and throws up her arms to lift up His name, not her own.
It all boils down to this simple (yet not so simple fact): if we sit (or stand or kneel) right before the King in all out, soul lifting worship, we will run smack into our God-given purpose and role in life. It all stems from placing Him on the throne. It all extends from making the service, the worship, the love of Jesus our first priority and everything else falls into place from there...
**Art by Junelle Jacobsen**
Such Awe and Wonder in that, don't you think?
Take time right now to read the Scripture for today again except...read it out loud. Go ahead. Do it! Who cares who hears you or what they think! For all that matters is the worship of YOUR audience of ONE.
Any thoughts? Leave a comment...let's chat!
A bit more about my sweet friend Junelle...
a girl smitten with God (a bit of a nun~in disguise) wife of an amazing man mother of four boy-men passionate photojournalist imperfect & messy artist *all about daily adventures* twig & petal gardener who fell in love with the sheep