Tag Archives: baptism

Bigger on the inside.

I don’t often dig out old posts out of the archives… But I think this one deserves another airing.  If like me you’re already drowning under tinsel, star-shaped cookies and costumes for the Christmas show, you might find this helps restore some of the wonder!

 

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If you’re reading this in the UK you probably don’t need me to tell you what this postcard is, or why I associate it with Christmas… but for those of you that aren’t:

This is the TARDIS. It’s from the long running UK TV show Dr Who and it’s a time-travelling spaceship. It’s become something of an iconic image and because of the unmissably excellent Christmas Day special episodes, it doesn’t seem entirely out of place in the jumble of jolly santas, cherubic angels and sprigs of holly.

Apart from that, all you need to know is this: It’s bigger on the inside.

On the outside it’s the size and shape of a 1960’s British Police telephone box (a regular sight on UK streets when this series started, ten years before I was born!), but on the inside it is apparently vast (there are even rumours of a swimming pool.)  Ask any Dr Who fan to describe the TARDIS and that’s what they’ll tell you – ‘it’s bigger on the inside’.

Think of how you would gasp in awe and wonder if you were to walk through that little blue door and discover that it is so much more than it appears to be.  Think of how you would run outside again to check and double check what you were seeing.  Think of how much your mind would be expanded!

Wow!

Awesome!

That really would be amazing.  To see something that so defied my understanding of how things are, how they work, of what is possible.  I’m pretty sure that I would be bursting to tell people about it but might also struggle to find the right words to describe how that discovery makes me feel…

All this reminds me of another image I associate with Christmas day:

A new-born baby.  Small, soft-skinned and helpless. Wrapped in a cloth and lying in a straw-filled manger.

And when I look, I hear God whisper,

“Can you see it?… Can you see what the shepherds saw, what the wise men travelled to see?”

“He’s bigger on the inside”

This is the extraordinary miracle of Christmas for me, perhaps even more amazing than the Easter-miracle of the resurrection:

Our God who spoke the universe into the existence and holds every part of it together; our God who said “let there be light” and who is the light;  our God who is infinitely powerful, infinitely wise, infinitely creative, infinitely loving, infinitely big; everything that he is is somehow contained inside that tiny cloth-wrapped package in the manger… Astounding.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him

Colossians 1:19

Take a moment today to let that sink in again.

Take some time to be awestruck,

to marvel.

and don’t be fooled by the tiny, helpless, sweet-smelling, soft-skinned baby in the manger…

He’s so much more than he appears to be.

Seriously bigger on the inside.

tardisfeat

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Bigger on the inside.

If you’re reading this in the UK you probably don’t need me to tell you what this is, or why I associate it with Christmas… but for those of you that aren’t:

This is the TARDIS. It’s from the long running UK TV show Dr Who and it’s a time-travelling spaceship. It’s become something of an iconic image and because of the unmissably excellent Christmas Day special episodes, it doesn’t seem entirely out of place in the jumble of jolly santas, cherubic angels and sprigs of holly.

Apart from that, all you need to know is this: It’s bigger on the inside.

On the outside it’s the size and shape of a 1960’s British Police telephone box (a regular sight on UK streets when this series started, ten years before I was born!), but on the inside it is apparently vast (there are even rumours of a swimming pool.)  Ask any Dr Who fan to describe the TARDIS and that’s what they’ll tell you – ‘it’s bigger on the inside’.

Think of how you would gasp in awe and wonder if you were to walk through that little blue door and discover that it is so much more than it appears to be.  Think of how you would run outside again to check and double check what you were seeing.  Think of how much your mind would be expanded!

Wow!

Awesome!

That really would be amazing.  To see something that so defied my understanding of how things are, how they work, of what is possible.  I’m pretty sure that I would be bursting to tell people about it but might also struggle to find the right words to describe how that discovery makes me feel…

All this reminds me of another image I associate with Christmas day:

A new-born baby.  Small, soft-skinned and helpless. Wrapped in a cloth and lying in a straw-filled manger.

And when I look, I hear God whisper,

“Can you see it?… Can you see what the shepherds saw, what the wise men travelled to see?”

“He’s bigger on the inside”

This is the extraordinary miracle of Christmas for me, perhaps even more amazing than the Easter-miracle of the resurrection:

Our God who spoke the universe into the existence and holds every part of it together; our God who said “let there be light” and who is the light;  our God who is infinitely powerful, infinitely wise, infinitely creative, infinitely loving, infinitely big; everything that he is is somehow contained inside that tiny cloth-wrapped package in the manger… Astounding.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him

Colossians 1:19

Take a moment today to let that sink in again.

Take some time to be awestruck,

to marvel.

and don’t be fooled by the tiny, helpless, sweet-smelling, soft-skinned baby in the manger…

He’s so much more than he appears to be.

Seriously bigger on the inside.

tardisfeat

Hanging on the Line

I’ve heard that it’s not the thing to air one’s dirty laundry in public, but I promise you that this lot is definitely clean, straight out of the washing machine, slightly damp and smelling of soap.

Today it was a mixed wash, so the line has my daughter’s summer dresses, my husband’s work shirts, some pillowcases, socks, a swimsuit and a white (wonder what made me think that was a good idea?) shower mat.

Sometimes I’m astounded by the power of Dixan (washing powder). I put all this lot in the washing machine, grubby and malodorous, and an hour later here it is… clean and sweet-smelling, blowing in the breeze. Even the shower mat, which was frankly gruesome when it went in (how is it that children’s feet come out of the shower still so dirty?), is now white, soft and fragrant… It’s a domestic miracle.

And I’ve been thinking this week about the truth that in Jesus we are washed completely clean,  because on Friday I had the glorious experience of seeing my fifteen year old son being baptised.

baptism

 

As I watched him going down under the water and coming back up again I thought again what a wonderful picture this is of being washed clean, of getting a new start. All the the mistakes, the falling short and the deliberate disobedience of our lives washed away. We leave every stain, every bit of dirt, every echo of guilt there in the water forever, not just that one time, but every single time we come to Jesus and ask for his forgiveness. Beautiful.

I love this from Colossians 1:22

But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation

Fortunately I don’t have anyone in my life who is likely to walk up to my washing line, stare at my shower mat and point out any stains on it!

In my spiritual life I don’t need someone else to do that, I’m actually pretty good at accusing myself.  But this verse tells me that I am utterly clean, and that God isn’t pointing out my stains and blemishes, not because he has developed selective vision, or because he is being polite, but because once i’ve asked for his forgiveness and been washed, THERE AREN’T ANY THERE ANY MORE.

(This isn’t a claim that I don’t mess things up anymore – far from it.  I end up in the laundry pile painfully often, but then I come to Jesus and ask to get washed and then I am CLEAN)

Although I knew that truth, I also struggled for years to get rid of the feeling of being dirty. In the end it took a powerful picture from God of myself standing under the flow of Jesus’ blood and seeing it removing the stains from my hands and heart before that particular piece of truth made it’s journey from my head to my heart.  Sometimes it takes God to write something directly onto your heart for you to get it!

It was hard to believe that the shower mat would ever look clean again… and so much harder to believe that God could come and wash every single dried-on, ground-in stain from my heart, but it’s true.

and if you want it, it can be true for you too.

 

washinglinefeat

 

 

For your journal:

Be honest, where are you in this process?

If you’re in the laundry pile, in need of forgiveness, come to Jesus and ask for it.

If you’re looking at a life that has been washed, but still pointing out stains that are no longer there, remember that when Paul said no-one was able to accuse you anymore that includes you! Don’t risk telling Jesus that his blood was all very well, but not enough to clean your heart up… you know that’s not true.  There are no exceptions.

If you, like me, struggle to shake the feeling of being unclean, dirty, messed-up , take a risk – ask God to show you how clean you are.  Get that truth into your heart where it belongs.