Yesterday I began to go through again (since I did not finish it) a book I have had for years. Even if I had finished it, it is one of those books that is good to read again and again. What's the title you ask?? :) Well I am going to tell you even if you do not ask. But first I want say that our church is doing a series titles "Yoked". Yesterday's guest pastor spoke on Silence. He read Matthew 11:27-30 in The Message.
Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of the Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen."
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Here is what jumps out at me:
ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen
get away with me and you will recover your life
learn the unforced rhythms of grace
I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you
you'll learn to live freely and lightly
Oh do these precious grace filled words call to me, Jesus calls to me.
Before the sermon I had the opportunity to share with my church family how I use visual journaling in my journey with God. How it has helped me listen. What a joy to share something that has made such a big impact on my life.
Okay, so back to the book I mentioned. Spiritual Classics - selected readings on twelve spiritual disciplines edited by Richard Foster and Emile Griffin.
The introduction says,
"The transformation in us is God's work. It is a work of grace. That deeply transformative grace comes to us not through our own doing but as pure gift.
And yet something is demanded from us: the free gift of ourselves, our submission, our willingness to change, our assent to God's grace. In the end our yes is what's required. In our words and in our own way, we need to say, "Speak Lord, your servant is listening." We need to say, "Be it done to me according to your will."
One more thing to remember: spiritual formation is ongoing. We need not be impatient; we need take no measurements. As we build a history with God, others may notice from time to time the good ways that God is working with us. The effects of such spiritual formation will be observed, not in terms of abrupt changes, but as a continuous flow."
Yes, speak Lord, your servant is listening.