• Dayna Ellen

yhwh nissi / victorious

Updated: Jun 2, 2018

I find holy yoga conceptually parallels the sacrament of communion as a physical approach to unity with Christ. I also find this similar in motherhood in that there will be sacrifice, connecting us back to our understanding of the gospel; sacrifice is essential for new life.

"Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory.” He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you." - Luke 22:19-20 MSG.

It seems that in playing this out, men have a stronger connection with sacrifice in death, however, it is with women we connote with bringing new life. The gospel is the kissing of death and new life. A natural pair, a set. Pain, suffering, bloodshed, ushering in hope, redemption, second chances. So much of the gospel is engrained into our physical realities, the birthing process is no exception. As mothers, we are uniquely granted a gift in walking into the sufferings of Christ. We give our bodies, our hips, our breasts, to birth, to nourish. All in love, but we all can see it has a cost. This is a deep mystery to see as a gift, but we know that in sharing together in suffering, we become more intimately acquainted with Christ and entrusting him with a depth and richness we had not known before. It can still feel like a heavy burden in the fear of the unknown, or even possibly knowing too much.

"To be a Mother is to suffer; To travail in the dark, stretched and torn, exposed in half-naked humiliation, subjected to indignities for the sake of new life. To be a Mother is to say, “This is my body, broken for you,” And, in the next instant,

in response to the created’s primal hunger, “This is my body, take and eat.” To be a Mother is to self-empty"

- God our Mother / Allison Woodard

Motherhood is a paradox of deep desire and love butting against fear and failure. But by knowing who God is, we know that we will be given the strength to focus and sustain the course. Although found only once in Scripture, "The name Yahweh Nissi - the Lord is my Banner" is a truth expressed beyond Exodus 17. Nissi translates into banner, ensign or standard, which Mary Jean Young explains that in ancient military practices were used for "symbolizing the ideals of those who marched under it...symbols of safety and protection... and would also serve as a symbol of success and victory, becoming a sign of deliverance and salvation."

By focusing our eyes above on our greatest banner, Yahweh Nissi, we are able to envision and forge ahead into sacrifice and suffering, knowing that through it, we will enter into a season of new life. Yahweh Nissi is not just for the children of Israel, but as Mary Jean Young explains, that "As Christ followers, we too, have a banner we can look to in our battles that assures us of God's presence, protection and especially his victory." We intimately experience the cost of new life within our bodies, hearts and minds. But the Lord does not leave us in fear. What I find most thrilling about entering into Christ's sufferings is that we equally also enter into his victory. We can't forget that this is more than just substitutionary atonement, but about resurrection!

"Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!"

- Hebrews 12:2-3 MSG

As we have the blessing of knowing that he truly is victorious, we can use the cross as our banner in our every day battles. In the midst of labor. Life will be won. The Lord will reign. His victory is our fuel and focus. Let us consider that, "Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was."

- Romans 6:5

As we enter into meditation, let us focus on our victorious breath and our intention. Allow these scriptures to speak to you, in your hearts eye, meet with Jesus.

Noticing what memories and emotions rise in this silence with Yahweh Nissi. "If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him;"

- 2 Timothy 2: 12

In what ways has God protected and sustained you before?

What have you been holding back from him?

What in your birth can you entrust to him?

Noticing what he is inviting you into right now.

"If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him;"

- 2 Timothy 2: 12

How can you keep your eyes on Jesus?

Can you ask the Lord for a special banner to fly over you?

What does it look like?

And now allow him to speak, notice any promises or comfort he gives you, or in his presence to just simply be with him.

"If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him;"

- 2 Timothy 2: 12

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