Intimacy with God

Public Reading: Luke 10:38-11:13

The Story:

•    Introduction

o    The last few weeks have been interesting…
o    We looked at how Jesus sent out the 72 just like the 12 and how the progress of the Scriptures show how each of us are sent out in the same manner
o    Then we looked at how all the signs and wonders in the world are useless unless you allow Jesus’ compassion, mercy and love to flow through you and change you.
o    Today we are looking at the root of this love, mercy and compassion

*    We are going to be talking about having intimacy with Jesus
*    About having a deep and personal relationship with Him.

The Passage

•    Everything in this passage points to knowing and spending time with Jesus
•    In the story of Mary and Martha you have two people caught between social norms and Jesus

o    One chooses to continue with the social norms of the day and works at preparing food and what not
o    The other choose to sit at the feet of Jesus
o    Jesus praised the later

•    This doesn’t mean that work is bad or that we should stop following any social norms

o    What it means is that we need to be willing to shift our lives around to find time to be with Him
o    It is a lesson in time management and priorities

•    The disciples felt the same pressure

o    They came up to Jesus and asked, begged no less, for a prayer to follow

•    Why did they do this?

o    Because John the Baptist’s followers had a ‘special’ prayer as did other groups…
o    So they wanted one too

•    Jesus decides to give them a prayer to pray

o    Why the way, this really isn’t the “Lord’s Prayer” but the “Disciples’ Prayer”
o    The Lord’s prayer is the one he prayed in the garden before he died

•    The prayer itself if fairly short
•    Each piece or line of the prayer is powerful!

o    “Father

*    to know God close enough that you can call him father
*    This is an Aramaic word that is still used by Middle Eastern families today
*    It is usually the first word taught to young children

o     hallowed be your name”

*    God alone is worth of our praise
*    He alone is to be worshiped!

o   “your kingdom come”

*    Some manuscripts add

•    “May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”

*    Both have the same message

•    God may your rule and reign come down into our lives
•    May we love the things you love, may we hate the things you hate
•    May our lives reflect you!

o    Give us each day our daily bread.”

*    One of humanities greatest fears is the fear of not having enough to eat
*    Not have a job, not having the money….being without food…
*    Jesus is teaching his disciples to prayer for the release of this fear
*    That God Himself will provide for our needs – for our basic needs each days

•    Reminds me of when Jesus told us not to worry
•    He will take care of us

“Forgive us our sins,”

*    The grace and mercy of God is amazing!

o   “for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.”

*    We are to forgive others just as we were forgiven
*    Yes, people hurt us, but we hurt God worse!
*    God forgave us, we are to forgive others!

o   “And lead us not into temptation”

*    Some add: “but deliver us from the evil one”
*    God, the prayer goes, keep us on the path you want us on

•    The shortness of the prayer could be for a reason

o    In Mt 6:7 Jesus says, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”

•    This raises the question of the nature of prayer

o    The Fathers of the Early Church thought that prayer for Jesus meant long periods of Spirit-filled silent communion
o    One person described stillness this way:

“a deliberate denial of the gift of words for the sake of achieving inner silence, in the midst of which a person can hear the presence of God. It is standing unceasingly, silent, and prayerfully before God.” -Helarion Alfeyeve, in talking about the writings of Isaac the Syrian (7th century) on prayer and stillness

o    We are immersed in words and data today

*    They have, in a lot of ways, become cheap
*    Perhaps we are to slow down and really think about what we are praying…
*    To be still before the Lord…

•    This is why we will sometimes stop and just be silent before God
•    I know it makes some of you uncomfortable as it is not normal….

o    But it should be! It should be normal to sit before the Lord and be quiet
o    Just like Mary did…

•    This brings us to the last section of today’s passage

o    Right after Jesus taught the disciples how to pray, he give a little parable on knocking and seeking
o    Some folks have taken these verses to mean material items…

*    That whatever we ask for will be given…

o    To me, while God will take care of our lives – remember that we are praying for our daily bread – the primary focus on this parable is verse 13:

*    “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!””

•    Jesus is telling his followers to keep asking, to keep praying for the Spirit of the Lord to come down upon them!

o    Remember, as Jews, they have been waiting and praying for God to come and rescue them from their enemies for centuries
o    The presence of the Lord was not in the Temple…it was empty

*    And they were waiting for it…

•    Now Jesus is telling them that if they ask, the Spirit will come.

o    If they persevere in their prayers, God’s presence will come

•    They also don’t have to be afraid

o    Remember that in the old days, when the Spirit of God came, it overwhelmed folks
o    When Solomon dedicated the first temple, the priests fell down when God’s Spirit came
o    People died when they touched the Ark of the Convent…or if they entered the Holy of Holies unprepared…

•    God is Holy and HUGE!

o    There is a sense of healthy fear as he is not a human like us…He is GOD!
o    Yet, He is also our Father who cares about us…
o    So if we ask Him for His Spirit – for His presence, we don’t have to worry about what we will get
o    He will send us good gifts

•    Praise the Lord for this promise!

•    As we end, I want us to jointly pray two prayer

o    One is the Disciple’s Prayer which we just looked at…
o    The other is ancient prayer prayed and sung each year at Pentecost since 1100’s

*   Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come, Holy Spirit)

Come, Holy Spirit,
Send forth the heavenly
Radiance of your light.

Come, father of the poor,
Come, giver of gifts,
Come, light of the heart.

Greatest comforter,
Sweet guest of the soul,
Sweet consolation.

In labor, rest,
In heat, temperance,
In tears, solace.

O most blessed light,
Fill the inmost heart
Of your faithful.

Without your grace,
There is nothing in us,
Nothing that is not harmful.

Cleanse that which is unclean,
Water that which is dry,
Heal that which is wounded.

Bend that which is inflexible,
Fire that which is chilled,
Correct what goes astray.

Give to your faithful,
Those who trust in you,
The sevenfold gifts.

Grant the reward of virtue,
Grant the deliverance of salvation,
Grant eternal joy.
Amen. Alleluia.

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