As we reflect on this lifestyle celebration, we invite you to explore some of our staff top picks from media and resources that focus on obedience.
KHRISTI LAUREN ADAMS introduces readers to the resilience, struggle, and hope found within the often overlooked and ignored stories of girls of color. In Parable of the Brown Girl, Adams reveals profound cultural and theological truths as she magnifies the struggles, dreams, wisdom, and dignity of these voices. Adams’ reminds us that Jesus obeyed His call to serve those who are oppressed, neglected, and marginalized, and she inspires us to respond in obedience with advocacy for those around us who find themselves in need and without a voice. Adams is a friend of Word Made Flesh and serves on our Advisory Council. Her book will be released February 2020 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.Click Here to Purchase this book on Amazon
RICHARD J. FOSTER explores the “classic Disciplines,” or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith. Along the way, Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found. In the twenty years since its publication, “Celebration of Discipline” has helped over a million seekers discover a richer spiritual life infused with joy, peace, and a deeper understanding of God.Click Here to Purchase this book on Amazon
KARISA KEASEY tells the story of 10 refugees and their families alongside 30 breath-taking portraits. Moved by the plight of thousands of people who have been displaced by war and settled in the Pacific Northwest, Keasey believes that “it is not enough to be broken by the things we see, we must aspire to change and be a part of the solution.” In When You Can’t Go Home, Keasey raises awareness and compassion by highlighting the people and stories of the refugee crisis. Additionally, 50% of every purchase will be donated toward helping refugee families in need (via partnership with World Relief). Visit karisakeasey.com for more details.Click Here to Purchase this book on Amazon
EUGENE PETERSON encourages readers in a society in which we are obsessed with the immediate. Peterson’s time-tested prescription for discipleship remains the same — a long obedience in the same direction. Tucked away in the Hebrew Psalter, Peterson discovered “an old dog-eared songbook,” the Songs of Ascents that were sung by pilgrims on their way up to worship in Jerusalem. In these songs (Psalms 120-134) Peterson finds encouragement for modern pilgrims as we learn to grow in worship, service, joy, work, happiness, humility, community and blessing.Click Here to Purchase this book on Amazon
HANNAH WHITALL SMITH was aware of the age-old problems that plague humanity, even when she wrote this work 130 years ago. We worry about our family, our health, our money, our time, and in the process we run ourselves ragged. In her studies, Smith discovered that there is a way to handle the stressors in our lives in ways that build us up instead of tearing us down through living faithfully in the rest and comfort that Jesus offers us. True happiness does not come from an absence of difficulty, but through the loving embrace of our Savior.Click Here to Purchase this book on Amazon
BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON
This film is a dramatization of events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi from before his conversion experience through his audience with the pope, including his friendship with St. Clare. The film illustrates St. Francis’ journery of obedience to the call, a decision that continues to influence us here at Word Made Flesh as well as the Body of Christ around the world. Rent it here.
Adoration of the Magi is the earliest known depiction of the three wise men bringing gifts to the God-child. Three shadowy figures approach the Virgin and child, seated at the right. Dating to the mid-third century C.E., this fresco appears above an arch in the Catacomb of Priscilla, in Rome. Matthew’s account tells us that wise men from the East came to Jerusalem looking for Christ, having “observed his star at its rising…On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts…” (Matt. 2:2,11).
Obedience is on display as the wise men, prompted by the Spirit, follow the nativity star from afar; and having found Jesus with his mother, they were obedient to the God-inspired motivation to worship and give gifts. Christ calls us to lay down our lives in worship and follow Him, and the story of the Magi reminds us that the humble and loving Presence of the Savior inspires genuine obedience and surrender on the part of those who encounter it.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), from “God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas”
“…And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.”
Anton bruckner was an Austrian composer best known for his symphonies, masses, and motets. The first are considered emblematic of the final stage of Romanticism. Bruckner’s compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism, owing to their dissonances, unprepared modulations, and roving harmonies. Listen to his “Christus Factus Est,” a moving piece which takes its text from Philippians 2:8-10, chiefly, “he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
(Click here to read our Editor’s reflection on this piece as it relates to the WMF lifestyle celebration of obedience)