It is the nature of our hyper-communication culture for us often to see others’ success as coming quickly. Those stories travel, and it is tempting to feel envious. But the first message that comes from Jesus is to settle in. This means putting aside our regimented schedules and plans (as though we could map all this out and “do” rather than first “be”). First, we make a commitment to know this place and these people—to be fully present in this place. Settling is the first step in planting like Jesus.
—Ben Ingebretson, Plant Like Jesus: The Church Planter’s Devotional (Upper Room Books, 2020)
When you’re tempted to rush for success, how can you remember to commit, like Jesus, “to be fully present in this place”? Join the conversation.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.”
—John 5:5-8 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Teach me, Lord Jesus, to listen as you did. Help me to be slow to speak, slow to judge, and quick to hear. Open my ears so that I can sense both the cry for help around me and your Spirit more clearly, that I might follow you more completely. I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
—Ben Ingebretson, Plant Like Jesus
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
We invite you to listen as Pat Luna, retreat leader for The Academy for Spiritual Formation at Camp Sumatanga, reflects on how she is finding—rather than creating—daily life with God. Take a moment to listen here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.