Ponderings of today. Simplicity is the word that is speaking to me during this season of Lent. I believe simplicity draws us closer to God. Simplicity and humility. Not pomp and circumstance. God is not interested in a popularity contest. He does not need everyone to acknowledge Him--to cheer him on. Jesus did things in obscurity and subtlely--often striving to remove himself from the crowds and seeking quiet time with God.
The world seems to think that in order to be successful, everything must be bigger and better. Giant churches. Huge projects. Best-selling books. The list goes on. What is big enough? What would it look like to reach people simply--one by one--heart by heart? Quietly and subtlely coming alongside and joining fellow sojourners as they come to know God and themselves in big, quiet ways.
I think I'll close here with this poem found at Milton's site.
I Feel Sorry for Jesus
People won’t leave him alone.
I know He said, wherever two or more
are gathered in my name . . .
but I’ll bet some days He regrets it.
Cozily they tell you what He wants
and doesn’t want
as if they just got an e-mail.
Remember “Telephone,” that pass-it-on game
where the message changed dramatically
by the time it rounded the circle?
People blame terrible pieties on Jesus.
They want to be his special pet.
Jesus deserves better.
I think He’s been exhausted
for a very long time.
He went into the desert, friends.
He didn’t go into the pomp.
He didn’t go into
the golden chandeliers
and say, "the truth tastes better here."
See? I’m talking like I know.
It’s dangerous talking for Jesus.
You get carried away almost immediately.
I stood in the spot where He was born.
I closed my eyes where He died and didn’t die.
Every twist of the Via Dolorosa
was written on my skin.
And that makes me feel like being silent
for Him, you know? A secret pouch
of listening. You won’t hear me
mention this again.
-- Naomi Shihab Nye
photo by bill hughlett