Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reclining with Jesus

      At church on Sunday, my pastor, Tim, spoke about the Last Supper, found in Matthew 26. He focused on verse 20: "When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve." He explained that reclining was a sign of royalty, was a sign of freedom. There Jesus was, the night before His death, reclining at the table, inviting His disciples to do the same. The twelve weren't perfect; one would betray Him that very night, another would deny that he knew Him.  Yet Jesus wasn't worried. He didn't expect them to be perfect before they joined in the meal with Him, before they reclined with Him. Tim then went on to say that for some of us, Jesus is reclining and we are running around Him in circles. He calls out to us, "Slow down! Recline with me!" This hit me really hard. I know I run around Jesus in circles, and sometimes I even feel like I say to Him, "Why aren't you doing anything? Aren't you worried?" To which He replies: "No, my child. I'm not worried at all. Come recline with me."  

      About two years ago I started reading A.B. Simpson's daily devotional on the Christian & Missionary Alliance website. Now, A.B. Simpson is no longer living, but every time I read one of his devotionals, I am encouraged and challenged, which never ceases to amaze me. Today's devotional goes along with the thoughts above: 

The blessed Holy Spirit is our Guide, our Leader and our Resting-place. There are times when He presses us forward into prayer, into service, into suffering, into new experiences, new duties, new claims of faith and hope and love. Then there are times when He arrests us in our activity and rests us in the secret place of the Most High. He teaches us some new lessons, breathing into us some deeper strength or fullness and then leading us on again, at His bidding alone.
       I have entered into a new season of my life this past year, and I feel like I'm in a different stage of the new season with this new job that I started a few weeks ago, a job to which I felt specifically called by God.  At each new stage I feel that God has been pressing me deeper, into more challenging things than the stage before, yet at the same time calling me to recline with Him. With each new experience comes the temptation to worry, to stress, to fret, but each time God's voice calls out to me above the noise, calling me to trust Him, to rest with Him, to enjoy Him. Each new stage brings more freedom, more joy, more confidence. Reclining with Jesus at the table today....

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