“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.”
Matthew 11: 28-30
Yesterday, on Palm Sunday, I encouraged and challenged us to be intentional in our focus upon Passion Week and the message of Easter. The aim being to learn from Jesus that we might know His peace (John 14: 27); peace with God and the peace of God. Also, that in knowing this peace we may live lightly and freely, growing as peacemakers, bringing His truth to the world.
Begin by considering what takes away your peace; what is bringing you disquiet in your heart and mind now? Write these matters down on a piece of paper and put them to the side for the time being.
Next, from Sunday, read Luke 19: 35-42 again and begin to ‘keep company’ with Jesus. Take these three steps:
1. Walk with Jesus – walk alongside Him as he rides the colt into Jerusalem. A courageous act in the face of murderous intent. Hear what is sung, said and done by others. See Jesus cry as the people reject God’s peace. Then:
2. Watch Jesus – and understand how His actions fulfil prophecies (Zech. 9: 9) and stake the claim that He is the King, God’s Messiah. How does this help you know Him, what can you learn from Him? Next:
3. Work with Jesus – in prayer, study and discussion, unpack how what you have learnt can be applied in your life? For example how might you have courage in the face of opposition, what scripture can you stand on? Now, go back to that piece of paper with your worries, concerns and fears. How might what you have learnt be applied to these issues, what might you pray and do that would imitate Jesus and bring in His peace?
Finally my brothers and sisters I ask you to apply the above practice to this whole week. Read and learn from Jesus in John 12-20, come to the services; Walk with Jesus, Watch Jesus and Work with Jesus that you may keep His company, learn to live freely and lightly and thereby grow in His peace. Make time to be alone with Him and apply St. Aidan’s Prayer to your life this week. May God bless and encourage you.
Leave me alone with God as much as may be. As the tide draws the waters close in upon the shore, make me an island, set apart, alone with you, God, holy to you. Then with the turning of the tide prepare me to carry your presence to the busy world beyond, the world that rushes in on me till the waters come again and fold me back to you. St. Aidan’s prayer
At the Cross – Chris Tomlin
Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me - CityAlight
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In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.