Note: This is the final blog contribution to our 40-day Lenten blog based on our all-church Lenten devotional, Listen: Praying in a Noisy World by Rueben P. Job
by Rev. Lowell Black – Pastor of Spiritual Formation / Valpo FUMC
Our prayer practice this week emphasized attentiveness and expectancy. In our lives, are we attentive to the direction of God? Do we expect to hear from God? Some have been taught to believe that only special people can hear the words from God and that only they are worthy to talk to God. That is not what scripture teaches. If we believe we are loved by God, then shouldn’t we expect that He will want to be a part of our daily lives?
Expectancy – believing that God will talk to us in some manner today. Attentiveness – keeping our sense of the Holy Spirit open and ready to realize that we are having a God moment where we are being taught something important about the direction of our lives.
Our scripture today recites the part of the Last Supper we now celebrate as Holy Communion. Here was a point that expectancy and attentiveness were very different for those around the table. But as you come to Holy Communion, do you come with expectancy?
Communion is a means of grace where God meets us. Do we go expecting to meet God? Do we expect to be touched by the Holy Spirit? We should! If we are attentive to the Spirit, we will meet our triune God in that sacrament and we have the opportunity to speak to God and to listen for what he has to say to us through the Holy Spirit nudging us in the right direction.
This week’s Weekly Reading is an excellent metaphor for our attentiveness! When God’s wishes are obvious and clear it takes very little effort and attentiveness to hear and understand. With ever increasing hateful talk in our society do we really have to wonder or ask God if this is right? God’s wishes are clear and can be made even clearer through prayer and study of scripture. But not everything is that obvious. How about, “should I stay in this job or move on?” If I move on, then what am I supposed to do and where am I supposed to go?
I have been in that position. That is when the windmill blades need to be turned into that light breeze to receive the life giving leading of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, when we seem to be heading into a drought in our prayer lives, perhaps it is time to reorient our listening skills in the direction that enhances our communication with God. God is faithful. It is just that sometimes we need to readjust our reception to again hear that still small voice connecting us with the eternal God.
Best wishes for a Happy, Joy Filled Easter. The Good News is that Christ is risen. Expect to hear from him. Turn your windmill blades and be amazed at what God has in store for you!