Jesus is operating in overdrive right now. Yesterday he filled Simon Peter's fishing nets to the dangerous point of tipping the boat and called the first of his disciples. Today he heals the leper who was begging by the roadside, preaches and teaches to a teeming crowd and forgives the sins and heals the man whose friends lower the pallet on which he was lying through the open roof. There is one sentence in the middle of all this madness which helps clarify where Jesus gets some of the strength to do all these acts. That sentence says He would withdraw to deserted places to pray. Notice the plural - this is not a one time event in Jesus' life.
Jesus was fully human and yet fully divine. He needed to be able to recharge: to resurrect his strength. He did so by praying, by turning to God, and perhaps turning over to God, those things that weighted down his human soul. And I believe there is a critical model here for us to pay very close attention to, in order for us to face what we must in the building of the kingdom we are called to continue to build. Not only do we need to care for ourselves appropriately (eating right, exercising regularly, socializing appropriately) but we need to pray and when necessary turn those things over to God that are weighing down our souls.
Yesterday, in Holy Women, Holy Men, one of the people we remembered was Thomas Traherne, a recently discovered poet and spiritualist who was a contemporary of George Herbert and John Donne. Traherne was a priest who wrote about, and tried to convey this idea of Jesus' humanity and divinity. He used seemingly contradictory metaphors that are difficult to follow at times. HWHM tells us that what he was driving at was "in the Incarnation, God assumed our humanity and so our humanity is in fact, our blessed access to God."
I think that is a beautiful concept: that through our humanness, we have a direct line to God, because of the Incarnation. Having a Rule of Life, a time dedicated to prayer, to recharging, to balance, we have access to God and God has access to us. Something to think on this morning.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.