Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Luke Chapter Eleven

Reading:  Luke 11.1-54

Scripture:  One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."  Luke 11:1

Observations: I am intrigued by Jesus' prayer life.  Apparently his disciples were too.  Jesus prayed differently than the common ways his followers had learned to pray.  What was different about Jesus' prayers?  When asked to teach them to pray, Jesus told his disciples to begin with, "Father..."  In our English translation, the word "father" seems somewhat formal, not too many of us talk to our dads by using that term.  When Jesus taught them to use the common term for "father" as we would use "dad" or "daddy" in their prayers, it opened a whole new understanding of the intimate relationship he, the Son of God, had with his father; but what is most remarkable, was that he told his disciples that they could pray to God on such intimate terms too!

Apply:  When we struggle with how to pray or what to say, think about how you would talk to a parent who loves you unconditionally and wants the best for you.  Let God know your heart, and take time to listen to God's loving reply.

Prayer:  "My Father who is is heaven..."


J.Mercuri said...

11:42 - 53 "Woe"
Observation: Everytime I get to this part I am stunned by rhetoric that is used by Christ to lay it on the religous leaders. He systematically dismantles any basis for the perception of self righteousness with six "woes" that focus on the external traditions and forms that conceal a proud heart. How much more damaging is evil and selfishness that pretends to be good. Equally as impressive as Christ's monologue is the lack of and lameness of response from the pharisees. They now it is true and yet do nothing. WOE

Apply: As a Christian from childhood and a Bible college grad this passage applies to me directly. There is no excuse for self righteous attitudes. It is comforting to think that this speech is reserved for our enemies of the camps of Christian thought that we disagree with, but the correct application I believe is a heavy personal dose. It is me. WOE

Prayer: Humble me O Lord, the words you spoke then are true of us now. Forgive us for our piety, religiousity, and hypocrisy. Help us to be aware of how our inflated self perceived coolness hinders you. Help us to heed your warning. Thanks for loving us enought to tell us the truth.

Gladys said...

vs. 39-40 "But the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness. You foolish ones, did not He who made the OUTSIDE make the INSIDE also?"

Many years ago during my single years, I had lived in a college town and had spent four, maybe five, semesters in adult ed in the college's "pot shop." When I first walked in there along with an art student, I just knew it was a place I wanted to be. Little did I know then, that besides learning the basics in the skill of pottery-making, that God would also teach me a lot about Him, of which I would like to share just a couple things.

In the course of making pottery, the potter throws the kneaded clay on the wheel. Throwing is just an expression of putting it there with some force behind it so it won't slide off. You cannot just lay it down. At this point, you either kick the kickwheel, or turn on the electric to start the wheel to turn. When the potter readies the clay, he will begin at what is the bottom of the pot-in-the-making, and proceed with the sides. This is where the potter's intensity begins as he totally focuses on what he is doing. He uses his fingertips on the outside and, with his other hand, which he puts down inside the pot and places his fingertips directly opposite those on the outside, then starts to pull the clay upwards very slowly and very gently to the height the pot is to be. At the same time, the potter squeezes the clay to thin out the walls, and forms the shape the potter wants it to be. The outside of the pot CANNOT be made without making the inside at the same time.

An experienced potter knows the clay that he is working with, as one kind is different from another. He knows how much pressure is needed to pull upwards, how much pressure to squeeze the walls as thin as they should be, or pushing toally inwards when making the neck of a vase for instance. He also knows how to extract a foreign object still within the clay such as a piece of dirt or twig that just cannot remain there. Then there is the wheel, the speed of which must be maintained depending on what the potter is doing with the clay. Carelessness, even unintentionally in any of these areas, results in a ruined pot.

The potter, however, wants a pot, a vase, a pitcher, a bowl . . . and has already visualized it in his mind! Because of that, and having taken the time to previously learn about the total process of pottery-making, he finds that he LOVES this clay that he is working with and forming . . even in spite of his getting really dirty from all the splattering during the process. He looks beyond, actually, he pays no attention to the dirt, but only thinks about the beautiful pot it will become, each one different from the other. There are no factory made, all-the-same, ones here!

The two points are - the gentleness and the love THE Potter has - for each of us He is creating. Oh yes, there is a third, the fact that THE Potter is a perfect potter, so there will be no ruined pots!

The clay - is YOU - and me! And our job - yield!

Father, I SO thank You for having had this opportunity that reminds me every time I think of it how much You really love me and how extremely gentle You are with me. May I always have a yielded heart and spirit with the work - the shaping and forming, as well as the dirt/twig-removing -- that still must be done.