Jen's March 2008 Newsletter
Last night I was sleeping in a Marae which is an ancient sacred meeting house of the Maori people of New Zealand. This place is so holy, I felt like I was sleeping in the temple. The only thing stealing some of the holiness from the room was the men snoring a chorus throughout the night. =)
All of the families sleep together here when they spend the weekend on the Marae. They don't live here every day, but some have been coming their whole lives. Some can trace their ancestry back 19 generations from this Marae.
As I stare up at the 19 generations of ancestors carved into the beautiful ebony wood beams of this house I wonder what stories the carvings tell. They don't look like people. They look like fierce mythological warriors staring at me with their bright shells for eyes. I am afraid, and don't dare to get up to go to the bathroom.
These are fierce people. Have you ever seen the Maori people do a haka? A war dance? If you have not, go to youtube.com and look it up. (I put a picture of one here at the top) There is nothing that impresses the warrior heart of God on me like a Maori haka.
The interesting thing about Maori culture is that it demonstrates both the Father heart and the nurturing motherly heart of God as our comforter. An older lady just told me that outside the Marae there is war and all manner of violence. But at the end of the day all people, warriors and children alike, are required to take off their shoes at the door before entering here. She says "It is the womb of our culture. The safe place."
Doesn't that picture remind you of Jesus looking compassionately over his people saying "Oh Jerusalem Jerusalem… how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks. But you were not willing" Matt. 23:37.
Friends lets be warriors for God. Strong and courageous and fight the good fight. But when He calls us in for the night lets learn how to rest in Him too. Let's stop striving and fighting; and rest in His love for us and His power to do things for our lives.The Maori word for life and also thank you….is "Kiora"
Kiora my friends,