Today’s faithful daily read is from Luke 4:40-44
How cool to get a blog from Lathleans in NYC yesterday. Thanks guys and all the best for your new life in South Africa. You are missed already!
Meanwhile, here in Luke 4 is an exquisite lesson, a sunset to sunrise lesson.
The Messiah is busy…real busy. As the sun sets and it grows dark (when normal people are settling down) Jesus is getting busier. He didn’t plan it that way, but people with needs rarely make convenient appointments. And needy people have suddenly crammed his private space! Jesus is caught up in a firestorm of busy.
[Tonight we watched the original PYSCHO, which was pretty creepy with lots of screams, but imagine this spooky scene…] In the quiet evening shadows a person is miraculously healed. Excitement spreads and it’s not long before another is brought before Jesus and is healed. Soon the whole town is crowding in and Jesus is placing his hands on people in a very tactile expression of his power, and the miracles keep coming! But soon the healings turn to exorcisms, and wailing and screaming pierces the gloom, charging the already electric atmosphere in a new and terrifying way.
What’s more, as the demoniacs screech out in their torture that “Jesus is the Son of God” Jesus commands their silence with an unnerving authority. (don’t know that many slept well in the village that night!).
I wonder if Jesus slept? This frenetic Messiah work has its own heavenly sanctity, and even adrenaline, but surely he must have been exhausted.
The postscript says it all, Jesus got up at sunrise, withdrew and spent time with God. He realigned his spiritual agenda with God’s perspective. In doing that he was able to see beyond last night’s sunset of exciting ministry and applause. He was able to see the other aspect of his redemptive ministry—preaching the message of salvation in the next town. ‘There are other towns, that’s why I was sent’.
Over the past few days some FAC folk found a pastoral care crisis cram their private family space when they were on holidays, tired and least prepared. They responded and graciously opened their lives. A few days later the crisis passed and they could return to normality. Knowing them to be wise and godly they will be recharging before God this sunrise for the perspective they need.
Actually I’m not a fan of the whole “WWJD” thing, but this is one Biblical example where we’d do well to ask, “what would Jesus do?” …Answer, ‘He’d draw aside to be with God!”
The message is simple—if the Saviour needed time alone with God then so too the saved. Raging sunsets must be followed by contemplative sunrises.
Perhaps in these first few days of the new year we can take this as wisdom and inspiration to bring each day before God, to meet with the author of the universe as he paints up another dawn. Before the day unfurls with its own busyness and all its troubles, make time to meet with God who is always waiting to meet with you.
True confession: Sometimes I lose perspective and think I’m a mini messiah and try to save the world. Even worse than that, I try to do it in my own strength! This year I need to practise the ‘sunset to sunrise’ principle more.
God bless you as you begin this day before him,