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Rendezvous With The Beloved

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Luke 3:1-14 (ESV-text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts — Tom Chittenden:

May 1 marks the second anniversary of my move from the home my partner and I created and lived in for five years into my own small, one bedroom apartment. For the first time in my life on this earth I lived alone.

Despite all of the resistance to the idea of “being by myself,” I now clearly see the amazing providential love of God working in this act of my life script. I know that the difficult and intensive remodeling of my mind and heart that has been taking place over these two years could not have occurred in the setting in which I had been living.

God had prepared a “tent of meeting” (aka Apartment 205) just for me. A place that I honestly regard as “holy,” for it is where I have met God in some of the most incredible encounters ever experienced during our 39 years of relationship. It is a safe place, a place for me to laugh, sing, cry, dance, question, talk, listen, and be clothed or not. For two years it has been my personal desert where, like John the Baptist, the Word of God has come into the wilderness of my life.

It is here that miracles of renewal, healing, awakening and evolution have and continue to occur.

In today’s text, I found myself drawn to the easily overlooked words in verse 2, “the Word of God came to John in the desert.” The connection was just too powerful for me to overlook.

It was in John’s desert that he received the curriculum needed to fulfill his divine calling. How blessed John was to be one of the first to recognize and acknowledge the Son of God — even while both he and Jesus were still in the wombs of their mothers (Luke 1: 39-45). Thirty years later John would also be among the first to proclaim, “Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world.”

While it is unequivocally true that God will meet us in the present moment and at whatever point in life we are found — and I cannot speak for all, but for some — I am certain there are periods of personal sabbatical needed where the Creator, in response to the cry of our heart, calls us to come away from the familiar, the comfortable, the predictable in order to quiet the chaos of the world and the chatter in our minds.

It is as if God asks, “Are you finally ready to listen to what I want you to know about who you are? You think you have Me all figured out. You say you want to hear my voice, but you’re too busy talking to even listen to what I have to say! Be still, and know that I AM GOD.”

God beckons each one of us to leave the chaos behind, come to our own “tent of meeting” (wherever that may be) and experience the Word of God coming to transform, comfort, encourage, and remind our mind and heart that we are deeply and unconditionally loved! So that, just as with John, we too are free to be Light to those we interact with each day.

Thought for the day: Can you hear God saying, “Be quiet. Listen, my precious child. I have something to say to you today.” Perhaps, God is saying simply, “I love you.”

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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