Friday, January 14, 2011

Scripture Saturday--A Voice from the Clouds

Both this week and last week's Gospel reading for Sunday are about the Baptism of Jesus.  Last week, we heard God the Father's voice come from the clouds saying This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.

Who do we seek to please? Whose voice of approval are we listening for?

It is so easy to hunger and thirst after others' approval and to strain to listen for that verbal "pat on the back" from a society whose values we are trying not to follow! It is hard to feel like the lone person in the wilderness, but, perhaps that is why Jesus, and many after Him, have gone into the desert before public ministry.

We need to withdraw from the world and its impossible expectations in order to focus on and please God.  There will be times when we feel, like Jesus, like the Israelites, like John the Baptist and like the early monastics, that we are alone in the desert.

Using a basic "rule" of prayer is a good start to keeping fed spiritually so we don't find ourselves running after "food that does not satisfy."  We need to "hunger and thirst for righteousness," which can only be found in God.  His is the Voice that we will hear if we listen closely enough and call out.

That is also why community is so important.  We are blessed in this country with freedom of religion and freedom of assembly.  We can worship with others and not have to go it alone.  The internet is also a good resource for prayer and community.

Go into the desert--away from the temptations and strife of the world.  But, remember, you are never alone.  You are there with Jesus.


kkollwitz said...

God the Father's voice come from the clouds saying "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Even God paraphrases Isaiah.

Dymphna said...

Isaiah is chock full of the rest of the Bible.

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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