Devotions on Judy’s heart
Last evening Al and I went to Lenten service at another church, and discovered there was only one couple in the congregation besides us along with the Pastor, pianist, sound person. We had been to the same church last week and there were about 40 people there so this was rather unexpected. I felt sorry for the pastor at first, and he started out by saying “Where two or three are gathered ( and we were barely more than three), there Christ was in our midst. But we were pleasantly surprised as the pastor didn’t have a typical sermon, but read scripture and had us be quiet for a few moments and then share a word or phrase stood out to us. He read the story from Mark 4: 35-41 from The Message translation of the Bible, where Jesus tells his disciples to go to the other side. After they all get in the boat, Jesus fell asleep in the stern and a huge storm came up with waves pouring into the boat, threatening to sink it. The disciples wake Him and ask if he didn’t care that they are probably all going down. But Jesus just told the wind to pipe down and for the sea to settle down; and the storm quieted and the sea became smooth as glass. Now we have been in storms and it doesn’t happen that they usually end that quickly. Pastor read the story a second time and we were asked to share why the phrase struck us after spending some moments of quiet; then he read it a third time asking what we felt God was saying to us through it. (It’s called Lectio Divina and I have written before of how we did this on Monday nights for several years with a group when we lived at Canaan.) It’s strange but as many times as I have read the story and even written of it, I never noticed the phrase, “They took Him in the boat as He was.” How did I miss that. The phrase spoke to me that Jesus comes to us just as He is but in many different ways. I thought of how He often comes to us as a wonderful teacher and we gain wisdom from Him. Sometimes He comes to us as a disciplinarian, much like our parent when we need correction. He may also come to us as Father, and reassures us of how much He loves us. There are times I sense He is a Good Shepherd that shows me the way I should go, especially when making life decisions. Other times I sense He is my protector when I am in situations of danger. Yes, Jesus comes as He is, and may we rest knowing that He is everything we need and more at each moment. I think the service tonight was just what I needed too.
Challenge for today. Read Mark 4:35-41 and see what stands out for you.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy
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