As we have a church-wide sabbath from church administrative meetings this month, you are invited to use this devotional to guide your thoughts for the week, or perhaps during a time when you might normally be in one of our church meetings.
“It takes practice to spot angelic presences. But practice alone is not enough, unless one can practice being taken by surprise.” – Alan Jones, Soul Making
Jesus told us that to see him is to see the Father. (John 14:19) In his ministry, he shows us again and again something about what God and God’s Kingdom is like. In fact, everything that God created – every creature, person and situation – has the power to reveal something, however small, about what God is like, if we are open to it.
I have a friend whose occupation is farming. His work is laborious and unpredictable. Mostly it consists of the tedious work digging soil trenches, laying seeds, watering, and pruning over and over again for months until one day the land is ready for harvest. The work is not always rewarding or fun.
But when I hear him reflect on the graces of his work — the technicolor radishes waiting just beneath the surface of a winter soil, the mushrooms that unpredictably bloom in places where they were not planted, the beauty that is even found in the flower of an okra plant … a vegetable not everyone likes very much — it seems obvious that these moments of observation tell us something about God among us.
God’s moments don’t just show up in creation. If we pay attention, they are present in our work places, the marketplace, on the television, in the joy we feel when we use our talents, and even in our accidents. Have you ever broken or lost something, only to have someone else fix it and remind you of how utterly dependent you are on others? Have you ever experienced a tender moment in your favorite novel or in the generosity of a child and wonder, “Does God think that way of me?” If we pay attention, we receive more of God’s gifts that we realize.
Read: Romans 1:20
“Ever since the creation of the world, the invisible existence of God and his everlasting power have been clearly seen by the mind’s understanding of created things?”
Just as in our first devotion this month, take some time to quiet your mind. Think about your week and pause to ask yourself: Has it been busy? What was life-giving? What felt draining? Do you feel satisfied with how it all went? Why or why not?
Allow God to sit with you as you reflect.
- Who has brought God’s love to you this week?
- Which stories this week have shown you what God is like?
- Has God revealed anything about you this week? Challenged you in some way? Called you to use your abilities in some way?
- What has God taught you about who God is this week through your experiences?
- What has gone wrong for you this week, and has it shown you anything of God’s ways of working in your life?
Our experiences, talents and companions on the journey are all gifts that we receive from God. And we only have to stop to notice them.
Spend time with one of the gifts God has given you this week. Spend an hour enjoying a hobby. Spend an hour with your spouse. Go for a run and thank God for your legs. Sit in silence and listen to your breath. Nothing is off limits. Just go and be. Go and experience the gift of being a beloved of God — in whatever way you were created receive it.
See other devotionals in this series: