Life is not for Self-Quarantine or Autopilot, 27FEB
I am ashamed to admit it but sometimes self-quarantine sounds REALLY appealing to me. Imagine how much I could catch up with at home! But isolation out of fear, like the scared folks who want to prevent the spread of the recent outbreak virus, would not be a good thing to wish for! A self-quarantine for dealing with busyness sounds appealing, then again knocking myself out of my planned fun activities sounds no good. A self-quarantine that is from a temporary snow storm? Yeah that sounds like a good thing, the whole world has to pause, at least your corner of the world will. You can catch up on things or just do nothing, your choice.
So, why did Jesus retreat? The most powerful man in the world, the most all-knowing right hand of God who was in on the plan from the beginning. Why? What did Jesus have to catch up with? Himself? Thank God that Jesus came back out of the wilderness.
Our times alone are best consulting with God and NOT LIVING ON AUTOPILOT. It’s LENT, how easy it would be to autopilot into Easter… DON’T.
Yesterday I stepped into an Ash Wednesday service at the earliest convenience for myself, 8am, a local Catholic church, an anonymous community of people who were evenly spaced out in a huge church. No one too close to anyone else. Like self-quarantine. I had no sense of community (well I saw one woman smile at another, and I leaned into folks who just wanted to wave for passing of the peace), yet I don’t knock people for this self-quarantine because I was the same, alone and a loner. Surely we were all there personally to get a sense of connectedness to God.
No card-checking of my Catholic background or Methodist membership took place, so I eagerly took communion regardless of any corporate confessional requirement. My confession is: I NEED JESUS.
“Lord, I am NOT worthy to receive You, but only say the WORD and I shall be HEALED.”
The thing about God is that He already SAID “the Word” because THE WORD IS JESUS. Therefore it’s up to us to HEAR the Word – we MUST HEAR AND BELIEVE. THE WORD is saying that we are WORTHY. We MUST stand before God and say we believe in Jesus’s truth.
** If we believe in God, we need to believe in Jesus.
** If we believe in Jesus, we must believe in God.
** If we believe in God, we must believe we are wanted by God.
** If we believe in Jesus, we must believe that we are sinners.
** If we believe in Jesus, we must believe that HE SAVES US.
** If we believe in being saved, then we must hear the Word.
** If we hear the Word, then we will be healed.
We are worthy because we are. We are worthy because Jesus IS.
I didn’t come to get ashes because I am healed but because I am still healing, I am hearing and I am hopeful. Be hopeful. Teach and share hope.
On His retreats, Jesus must have been talking in His head to God. Alone is never alone when God is asking for your mental time. Alone with God can be self-quarantine and all good, but even Jesus eventually left the wilderness… Was Jesus chomping at the bit to return? I wish I could have watched Him in action.
I bet you that Jesus never ran on auto pilot…
When is it time for us to leave the wilderness too? Now is a good time, YES, now is the time to live fully in His love.
What new work does THIS lent season have for us? We heard the Word, let’s share it.
For Ash Wednesday I came to stand before the altar, but instead someone came closer to me, quickly giving us ashes and communion, at least 8 servants were serving. Convenient and quick. I still had time to get on with LIFE… I realize that Jesus too was dispatched to come get us out of the wilderness, we DON’T have to wait. He’s come off the altar, He’s come off the cross, He’s come off autopilot to navigate each and every one of us thru life.
Don’t fear life. Jesus wants us to get on with LIFE.
I BELIEVE IN JESUS – because I believe in LIFE.
Don’t quarantine or autopilot life. LIVE IT.