Unhurryup!™ into Easter #26

Lean into God's love, centering your attention and focus toward Him.

Find a quiet, comfortable space.
Take three deep breaths - 
On inhale say, "Not my will"
On exhale say, "but yours be done." 

Evaluate honestly how you are as you come into His presence.
As you come to be with God in these moments, take heed of how you feel. Are you eager, tired, distracted, joyful, full of doubt, dry? 
Believing that He welcomes and loves you just as you are, not as you think you should be,
present your "just as I am" self honestly before God: 
"Here I am Lord...no pretense...no demands...
open my heart to trust Your love."
Notice what stirs your soul as you interact with the following:

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, 
“Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” 
He took a little child whom he placed among them. 
Taking the child in his arms, he said to them,
“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; 
and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005), Mk 9:35–37.
Jesus is ever patient with the disciples' inability to connect to and be with him as he walks toward his impending suffering. As the twelve argue about who is going to be greatest, Jesus uses the moment to extend an invitation. "First equals last. Leader equals servant. Welcome the child...you welcome God."
Pretty clear and simple. But just a few verses later:
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them,
but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. 
He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, 
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child 
will never enter it.” 
And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005), Mk 10:13–16.
 It is easy on this side of the story to criticize the disciples. How could they just hear Jesus talk about welcoming children...and then rebuke people bringing children to Jesus? What kept them from hearing and entering into these moments with their Master? But likely, I'd have joined right in for lack of understanding and lack of desire to have my perceived "greatness" diminished. Upsidedown from everything my culture teaches!
What keeps me from hearing and entering into moments with my Master? Did his ongoing discussion of his impending death throw them off? Why did they feel the need to "protect" Jesus from this onslaught of children? What is going on inside of them that they cannot connect to what Jesus is inviting them toward?

Then take 3-5 minutes in silence to listen: What has Jesus revealed to you lately that you would rather ignore? Ask him, "What is my core fear? Of what am I unwilling to let go?" 
How does He welcome you toward Himself? What is He inviting you toward?

Trust Him to open your heart toward fully receiving and living into His love.

As you leave this space, ask God to help you pay attention in thought, word and deed to how He is leading. Look for people you might welcome - regardless of your own agenda, lists, needs, distractions. How does it feel to set aside your own "greatness" to welcome another?

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All written material unless otherwise noted copyrighted 2011 Paula Gamble.