Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)
TITLE: Operation Joy
By Arlene Showalter
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“Come, Son, come to Mama!” Mary coaxes, arms outstretched to embrace her firstborn. With his eyes on his mama, Jesus moves the other foot forward. He wobbles, feeling for balance. One step. Wobble. Two steps. Balance. Three steps. Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate!
On the fourth step, Jesus falls into Mary’s arms. She whoops in joy, swinging him high above her head. “Joseph, he did it! Jesus walked!”
Body tense, Jesus leans forward, his full attention on the wise teachers sitting before him. Question after question tumbles from his lips as they nod in approval. Days slip by, unnoticed.
“Son! Why didn’t you start home with us?” Mary’s voice disrupts Jesus’ thoughts. He blinks in surprise.
“Mother, why are you distressed? You forgot I would be about Father’s business?”
Jesus and John stand in the Jordan together, as the water swirls gently about their knees.
“I can’t baptize you,” John argues. “I’m not worthy. You should baptize me.”
“Don’t worry, Cousin,” Jesus smiles gently. “Do as Father asks.”
With water streaming down his face, Jesus turns his face upward, watching a dove flying closer and closer until it rests on his shoulder. Then Father speaks!
“Behold my Son! I am so pleased with him!” Jesus grins, oblivious of John’s excited babble. Jesus listens to Father with his heart, nods, and then fixes his steps toward the desert.
“Jesus, My daughter is dying.” Desperation edges Jairus’ voice. “You must come immediately or it will be too late.”
Suddenly, Jairus’ fear-filled pleas fade to the background as Jesus feels virtue leave his body. He turns to discover a woman cowering at his feet. Patiently he listens to her long story of frustration and pain.
“Daughter, your faith has saved you, go in peace.”
Jesus gently caresses the bread in his hands, absorbed in its deep symbolism.
“Today I am broken for you. Tear a piece of this bread and so partake of my being. Soon my purpose for coming will be revealed to all humanity. I have waited for this moment since before creation.”
Thud. I am come in the book written of me…to do your will, O God. (Psalm 40:7)
Thud. Focus on your purpose, Jesus.
Thud. Today I break the enemy’s hold on humanity.
Thud. Focus on the coming victory.
“It is finished, Father! We did it! Into your hands I commend my spirit!”
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 NIV
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