A stewardship message with the hope that people would give to the church, followed by a message inviting people to keep to themselves a bit more when it comes to prayer and good works…At our March 23 Worship we were asked to go in two different directions at once.
God’s question to Job set the stage for the message – Where were you…? Jesus pushes us in the direction of acquiring more of a taste for solitude. Let’s think for a moment: Where exactly am I?
Writing about Sting and his finding his voice again, David Brooks says: … It was clear how much richer historical consciousness is than future vision. “The muse abandoned him,” writes Brooks of a time in mid-life when Sting just couldn’t get a song together. The antidote for the problem was a mental return to his childhood home town. It’s not that Sting recommends living in the past. It’s that our past – our “historical consciousness” is full of smells and sounds, of textures, conflict and emotions, all of which can add up to a powerful reminder not only of where we have been, but why we are where we are now. (Read Brooks’ article – “Coming Home Again“.)
When God asks Job: Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? it is obvious that Job’s questions and demands have overstepped the boundaries of his pay grade. But what an amazing thing to contemplate – that first instant! Watching a sunset, or seeing the clouds swirl in the sky as a storm comes together can be the on ramp to a meditation with regard to where it all began. For some people, sitting where land gives way to ocean is a place where contemplation can happen.
Who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth from the womb? What of our own birth? What of that instant when we burst onto the planet amidst a flow of red and took that first gasp of air into our lungs? When Jesus encourages us to enter a secret place to pray, maybe he knows that in order to keep it together we have to spend some time keeping to ourselves. If you need some “keep it to yourself” time this week, I pray you will find it!