The World Council of Churches, of which we are a part as members of the Lutheran World Federation, puts out a yearly cycle of prayer for churches all over the globe. It’s one way to remember people of faith in distant countries who don’t always get into the news. Until the recent earthquakes, for example, Haiti and Chile were probably not the first things on our collective minds in the morning. Sometimes others’ suffering awakens us. We become more aware, more compassionate.
Walking with Jesus on the road to Jerusalem is a spiritual pilgrimage in awareness. Jesus was constantly approached in his ministry by people with deep needs for healing, for forgiveness, for reconciliation.
Those interruptions became his ministry.
Jesus stopped what he was doing, often interrupted at meals, or in his teachings, or even when he was off praying. Sometimes the disciples’ lives were interrupted, too, by the sudden experience of transforming moments, or the surprise of a man calling to them as they mended their nets, or the unexpected joys of lying in a field of flowers with the Son of God, and being told to lighten up.
Walking with Jesus, following in his footsteps, is an astonishing journey in waking up to God and to neighbor.
What are the surprise interruptions in your day?
How is God calling you in the interruptions? What gift does the surprise bring? Jesus will ask the disciples to stay awake with him and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. Remember back to Advent, and all the calls to wake up? It’s God’s call down through the ages, sent through prophets, wisdom teachers and Jesus.
Staying awake is a spiritual practice, staying sensitive and aware, responsive and available. It’s an aspect of our response as people of faith active in loving. If you read the lives of saints, they discovered that, too, from St. Francis to Thomas Merton, to Bonhoeffer and Dorothy Day. Sages in other religious traditions teach the same practice–wake up. Being awake: that was Jesus’ practice, and we need his help to do it.
What wakes you up spiritually?