Practising the Presence of God (Thursday 16 March)
The Lord and his disciples were traveling along and came to a village. When they got there, a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat down in front of the Lord and was listening to what he said. Martha was worried about all that had to be done. Finally, she went to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it bother you that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!”
The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about so many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her.”
We may read this story to emphasise contemplative prayer over action. Yet we know that Jesus was someone who balanced both withdrawal and solitude with engagement and action. We need both. Jesus is not chiding Martha for providing food and being hospitable, but inviting her to leave her frustration, business and anxiety to come and be with him.
Keep company with Jesus today as you enrol in the mundane tasks of washing up, school runs and commuting. As we do, we may discover (as Brother Lawrence did) that he is with us amongst the pots and pans.
“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.”
(Brother Lawrence Practicing the Presence of God)
Christ be in my waking, as the sun is rising,
In my day of working, with me every hour.
Christ be in my resting, as the day is ending,
Calming and refreshing, watching through the night.
Jesus, this is my devotion; all my life to know you
Every day to walk with you.
Saviour, You’re my deepest longing,
You’re the one I live for, teach me, Lord, to walk with You.
(Stuart Townend Christ Be In My Waking)