Pondering for Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of the 1st Week of Epiphany: Year1

Morning, Psalm 119:1 to 24; Evening, Psalms 12, 13 and 14
Isaiah 41:1 to 16Ephesians 2:1 to 10Mark 1:29 to 45 

“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

There are so many deeds that Jesus can do that you and I cannot.  Except for medical doctors, most of us cannot heal others.  It seems also to be very hard for some of us to forgive (or love) some people.  Some of us have been blessed with the gift of teaching but not with the authority that our Lord Jesus wielded, Thank you Lord Jesus. Few of us, if any of us, can cast out demons. But here is what we can do; we can all find a place to pray.

Jesus’ getting up and going off to a place to pray is definitely something we can all do, and, I think, we all should do. Copying Jesus’ habit of praying, or even Sabbath praying, may even lead to more Jesus-like abilities. Praying doesn’t have to be beautifully articulated words of perfection.

I recall the story of the little shepherd boy who prayed as he watched the sheep. In his little prayers he prayed whatever came to his mind.  As I recall, he prayed thus: “Dear Jesus, If you were cold I would give you my coat. If you were hungry I would share my food with you, if you were real hungry you could have all my food.”  As the old story goes, a priest was passing by and heard the boy praying. The priest interrupted the boy and schooled him on the “proper” way to pray. After the priest’s lecture the little shepherd boy felt so bad, he quit praying all together.  Missing the boy’s regular prayers, God sent an angel to see what happened. The boy explained how he was told that he wasn’t doing it right and the angel asked, “Who told you that?”  I don’t know how the angel handled the priest but the angel assured the boy that God loved, and missed, his prayers and wanted him to continue.  The boy resumed his prayer life.

This is a nice little story from a long time ago.  The point is, like our Lord Jesus and the little shepherd boy, prayer is not done from training, but rather, prayer is our being trained by doing.

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine, Iran and China.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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