REFLECT – Day 2:
Yesterday we began by reading “The Beatitudes” in Matthew’s gospel account. We explored the background information for this scene and started to explore the first blessing – ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’.
Let’s dig into this ‘poor in spirit’ saying a little more and explore how Jesus models it for us.
Open your bibles and read Luke 5:12-16.
One of the greatest needs in our 24/7 world is to learn to withdraw and reconnect with God. Jesus himself knew his need of spending time with His Father.
That’s not to saying that we disengage from what fills our lives. We all have responsibilities to others in environments such as work, family, voluntary groups etc. We should engage, just as Jesus did. He remained in the world too. The passage today shows this to be true when he willingly heals a man with a defiling skin condition. Jesus takes time to meet this man, declare Him clean and enables him, through healing & instructions, to obey the mosaic law and to reenter society – an outcast no more! Jesus then moves from this place of shocking activity, into retreat. His life is lived in a rhythm of full engagement with God’s world alternating by withdrawing to deserted places to pray.
Jesus prays in the great crises of his life – before great miracles and before his arrest and trial. But these prayers grow out of his daily prayer and conversation with his Father in heaven. He models what it means to be poor in spirit.
Luke tells us, ‘But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray’. To follow Jesus is to recognise this inner thirst for the living God. To follow Jesus and to be poor in Spirit is to find this life-giving rhythm.
As the deer longs for the water brooks,
so longs my soul for you, O God.
My soul is athirst for God,
even for the living God.
What is your best time of day to pray?
How can you create the time and space?
Intentionally inviting God into your day can be difficult especially when life is full of change. Perhaps it will look the same for you everyday, an early morning or late night session. But maybe it just means taking a moment to pray during your activity. Perhaps setting an alarm every couple of hours to remind you to briefly withdraw from your desk. Or finding a peaceful place, even if that’s the toilet, to breath and sense His presence. Maybe it can be done as a family around the dinner table, or in the car on the way to school. Try things out, be willing to adapt, but be intentional about withdrawal.