Saturday, February 20th, 2021
~Luke 5:27-28 (New Jerusalem Bible)~
“When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, sitting at the tax office, and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And leaving everything Levi got up and followed him.”
Photo credit: Father Lemieux
Dear Friends— Thank you for following me and traveling with me on this Lenten Journey.
Is it a question? Is it a statement?
As believers, we have answered the call of Jesus, “to follow” him. One thing I’m absolutely sure of is, we all have had our own unique experience in answering the call “to follow.” Some have it in a slow and gradual invitation and acceptance while others have a rapid, come to Jesus moment, while others answer the call at different intersections along the spectrum of life’s experiences.
Mr. Nouwen points out in his book, “Show Me The Way” ‘Not only did Jesus come to free us from the bonds of sin and death, he also came to lead us into the intimacy of his divine life.’ (1)
It sometimes feels like Jesus/God are unreachable; compared to the ease we have in instantly connecting with people at any time or any place using the advanced technology available to us.
I can tell you from personal experiences that God is even more readily available to all of us at anytime and all at the same time. Unfortunately, I have a lapse in good judgment this far more often than I’d like to admit. Honestly, it is due to my own foolish pride getting in the way and sometimes it my shame, whatever the case my be. What I know to be true even through all my insecurities/doubts is that God is and will always there for me. I love how Mr. Nouwen explains this and does so more eloquently than I have tried, “We see Jesus as the all-knowing and all-powerful Son of God who is unreachable for us sinful, broken human beings. But in thinking this way, we forget that Jesus came to give us his own life. He came to lift us up into loving community with the Father.” (2)
What does living a spiritual life look like to you?
Jesus wants to share with us the relationship he has with the Father. Jesus wants us to follow him and to live a life transformed by love. One might even say, “Radical” love! The ministry that Jesus led was “Radical” at the time, when we can process this, we can begin to see the meaning of spiritual life. All that belongs to Jesus is given for us to receive. (3)
A spiritual life can be lived in as many ways as there are people, says Nouwen and he’s absolutely correct!
The spiritual life for some may indeed translate into a life of dropping everything and follow where Jesus leads. This is exactly what the disciples did when Jesus said, “follow me.” Mother Teresa also chose a similar path as she gave everything to follow her calling. One of my favorites example is Gladys Aylward, she felt called by God is go to China and in 1938 she led almost 100 children across 100 miles of rocky terrain to safety from Japanese invaders from the county of YangCheng.
Living a spiritual life ultimately means, “Being in the world without being of the world.” (4) It sometimes means giving up things such as jobs, homes, social groups, political activities, arts and entertainment but these are not absolute for any one person. There are things of this world that can become a compulsion and addictive to many, while others are non-affected by the same.
A lesson I have learned over time and I want to share freely with you is this, Judgment is like a two-edged sword, it will cut on the downward strike but be careful with the upswing.
“People who live in glass houses should not throw rocks.”
Strive to live a life pleasing to God, listening for God’s voice and follow where He leads. ~Peace
Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:
~Simplify Day 4
Designate a giving jar where loose change can go. At the end of Lent, give the collected money away, perhaps someone in need you see on the street, give it to your church or perhaps an extra tip to a deliver person bring you food or someone serving you in a restaurant. You may also set an intention to give to it regularly.
Lord, whoever serves you,
must follow you,
wherever you are.
If anyone serves you,
your Father will honor him.
— After John 12:26
~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
(1) (2) (3) (4) Show Me The Way. Page 20; paragraph one. Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing