One of the things I like to do as I read the scriptures is write down just one thing, one quick takeaway from the section. For me, it’s a process that helps me move from simply reading the Word to allowing the Word to read me.
It’s a simple practice that anybody can do, it helps to reinforce what I’ve read, and it gives me an opportunity to engage with what the Holy Spirit might be trying to teach me.
This is my “quick thought” from today’s reading in Numbers 1-4.
“When their names were recorded, as the Lord had commanded through Moses, each man was assigned his task and told what to carry.” ~Numbers 4:49
Everyone is accounted for, everyone has a task, and everyone participates.
The people of Israel had already been saved, but now they were following Moses through the wildness. Salvation for the children of God from Egypt is done and finished, but following requires movement, and active participation.
Following Jesus in Life is similar, only Jesus is the better Moses and worthy of a far deeper trust. To be sure, he leads us with perfect patience without leaving us behind because his desire is to be with us, and he knows exactly what each of us needs. Jesus is the one who says “I know my sheep and they know me,” but he doesn’t just know us from afar with an intellectual knowledge, he knows us in an intimate participatory way.
It’s like a dance, there’s a rhythm to it, he leads, and we follow. He participates in the dance with us, and in the following we participate in the dance with him. This “dance” should not be monotonous work to be experienced in drudgery, it should be full of joy, laughter, and life. Yes, there will be pain, exhaustion, and frustration as we bump, and fall, and step on toes, but that’s part of the natural progression as we learn to follow his lead in life.
We can see Jesus continually inviting people into the dance of Life with him throughout the Gospels starting with his invitation to the disciples to “follow him.” He doesn’t invite them to be “saved” in the way our modern western culture would typically define it, he invites them to “follow.” This invitation to follow is an invitation to be active participates in his dance of life, not just spectators of his miracles.
We can either accept or decline this invitation to dance. When Jesus invites the “Rich Young Ruler” further into the dance of life, the man went away sad because all he wanted was a transactional relationship. Yet, when Jesus invites Peter to walk on water with him, Peter gets out of the boat, and accepts Jesus’ invitation to move further into the transformative dance of life.
When Jesus feeds the 5000 and he involves the disciples in the distribution of the food, he’s inviting them further into His transformative dance of life. When a women touches Jesus in a crowded street hoping to be healed and he stops to ask “who touched me,” it’s because he knows a transactional relationship isn’t transformative, and he longs to invite her further into His transformative dance of life!
Everyone is accounted for, and Jesus invites everyone to participate in the transformative dance of Life!
This is what I heard in today’s reading, what did you hear?
#John10:14 #Matthew19:22 #Matthew4:19 #Matthew14:29 #Mark6:41 #Mark5:30