I met with several people from church on Wednesday night, September 5, 2018, to hear from God through the Scripture.
Following our traditional pattern, we read the Moravian Text’s New Testament reading for that day, which was Luke 20:39-51.
This was a familiar passage. Familiar passages can be difficult to use; they become too familiar to us; our familiarity with them keeps us from hearing God in them; we gloss over them or think we already know what they say. But by reading slowly and looking at an unfamiliar translation (ESV), we were able to hear some interesting things.
Our attention was caught mostly by the fact that Jesus was praying. We noticed that He was praying passionately even though He already received His answer (i.e., the cup would not be taken from Him). We believed this was an indication that prayer is more than just asking God for things but is also a way to enter into the will of God.
This led us into the covenant triangle.
We discussed the fact that obedience (which is what Jesus’ “thy will be done” prayer was) comes out of identity, which in turns comes from the Father’s acceptance/adoption of us. We continued to discuss the fact that such obedience does not earn our identity but is an expression of our identity. We noted that this obedience often comes through a time of prayer such as Jesus’ and takes a lot of trust.
After that, we asked what God might be calling us to do. Since this was such a large message, I did not push anyone for a specific answer but allowed them to simply think about it.We finally concluded that this was not just a part of the Gospel story we all knew, nor was it even just a lesson God was trying to teach us. We realized that this was actually Jesus living as a genuine disciple. Yes, this is an example for us and can (and should) be used as such. But it is a sincere example; Jesus did this not to teach us something (even though He does teach us in it) but because this is what disciples do; it is what He, as the premier disciple, needed to do at that moment. Thus, such times of prayer, prayer offering submission to the will of God/a readiness to obey even in difficult circumstances, is what we need to do as well.
I was greatly encouraged by this devotional time. I can’t wait for our next meeting on October 3rd. I hope you can make it!