Imagine yourself to be Andrew. Already a follower of John the
Baptist, you pay close attention when your spiritual master,
John, proclaims Jesus to be the Lamb of God. You and a companion
follow Jesus, who invites you to “come and see” who he
is. Convinced that Jesus really is the Messiah, you lose no time
in bringing your brother Simon to meet him. Before you can formally
introduce them, Jesus looks at your brother and gives him
a new name! Andrew and his companions must have felt awestruck
at this encounter. And to think it all happened because
Andrew paid attention!
In spiritual direction, we call this kind of attention “mindfulness.”
It’s a spiritual discipline that means paying attention to
God’s presence in a profound way. To cultivate mindfulness, we
give our attention first to God. We develop a heightened state
of focus in which our senses become attuned to the energy, the
“aliveness” of God’s marvelous creation that includes us.
Mindfulness can be considered the opposite of today’s
penchant for multitasking. Instead of trying to do many things
all at once (often poorly), mindfulness calls us to focus first on
who we are—spiritual beings in union with God. It’s the contemporary
expression of Jesus’ invitation to “come and see.”
Through mindfulness, we “come” into God’s presence through
meditation; we “see” with our inner being; and then we take our
awareness and our witness into the world.
Practiced with discipline, mindfulness enables us to respond
to spiritual promptings as quickly as Andrew did when Jesus
extended the invitation to know him better. Choosing mindfulness
brings us closer to God and gives us the ability to seize our
daily opportunities to invite someone to “come and see” what
Jesus is like.
Holy God, keep me mindful of you every day, so that like Andrew I may invite others to “come and see.”Amen.
The theme of God’s calling all believers to a life of ministry runs through all four of this week’s scripture passages. We discover that God’s call always requires a response! The Isaiah passage, one of the Servant Songs that points to Jesus, reminds us that God is the one who pursues and calls. The psalmist exemplifies the call to give witness when God shows up and is found to be faithful. In the opening of his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul reminds us of his own calling and then goes on to emphasize that all are called by God and set apart for ministry. And in John’s Gospel, we receive an example of testifying to God’s presence in our lives and the important calling of bringing others to Jesus.
• Read Isaiah 49:1-7. How has God taken the initiative to work in your life and call you to faith? What mission has God given you?
• Read Psalm 40:1-11. List the ways that God has been faithful to you in showing up and answering your prayers. How have you given witness to God’s faithfulness?
• Read 1 Corinthians 1:1-9. What gifts has God given you to fulfill your calling to ministry?
• Read John 1:29-42. How might you cultivate the discipline of “mindfulness” in your spiritual life?
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