“Look upon your family, Lord, that, through the chastening efforts of bodily discipline, our minds may be radiant in your presence with the strength of our yearning for you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, you son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”
Today’s morning prayer is serious. The chastening efforts of bodily disciple don’t sound fun. We would love to be in constant communication with God, but the idea of putting in the effort to clear our minds and lives doesn’t sound easy.
Colossians 3:1-5 in the Message is especially convicting for those of us who seem content with mediocre, lukewarm Christianity: “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.”
Yesterday we looked at Christ in John 4, not being concerned with things like food when there was work to be done for the Kingdom. Today, we see Paul imploring us to see things from Christ’s perspective. Christ’s humility in the face of his accusers on the day of his death, his willingness to take slaps to the face and spit to the eye, and his devotion to the work of God to the point of death are our example. John the Baptist’s excitement at the end of his ministry is unique--most minister’s wouldn’t be excited if their followers all left and began following someone else. John understood his place, and he understood what it means to be humble to the will of the Father.
Lent is our time in which we work, through bodily discipline, to reach a higher level of understanding of our place in the will of God. We begin to see how through the disciplines of our body, our desire for God’s work grows.
Prayer points // Pray for God to increase your desire for Him. Pray that He strengthens you through the disciplines you have chosen to practice.
Scripture Mediation // John 3:27-31; Colossians 3:1-4; Psalm 42