The grass in my backyard remains constantly brown unless we water it every day. But we live in southern California where droughts are common, so water conservation is more important than the condition of our grass. We just let it be brown and dry most of the time. In the same way that our grass withers without regular attention and watering, our spiritual life withers when we do not set aside regular time for its nourishment.

In today’s passage, the prophet Jeremiah tells us that a regular practice of seeking and then trusting in God’s presence will connect our lives to a continual source of nourishment and growth. This may sound simple and obvious, but few of us treat our lives with this sort of care. In the busyness and stress of life, it’s easy to allow our “natural” mind to take over. We see our to-do list growing longer, the bills piling up, and our family concerns growing more intense. When this happens, we usually resort to thinking like a superhero: “I’ve got to press on, power through. I can carry this load.” We begin to believe it is irresponsible or selfish to take time for ourselves to connect with God and center our souls. Yet it is this very connection that we need the most if we are to have the strength to carry on with our responsibilities.

The God revealed in Jesus wants to support us and renew our strength. In order to tap in to this gift, we have to spend time with God, whether by reading scripture, walking in nature, or simply being still. When we spend time with God, learning to trust God’s direction, we will find the grass of our soul nourished and growing greener each day.

Holy Spirit, nudge me throughout the day to take time to be with you. Renew my strength and guide my path according to your will. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 6:17-26

1 Comment
Log In to leave a comment
Lectionary Week
February 7–13, 2022
Scripture Overview

God wants us to be rooted firmly in our faith. Jeremiah contrasts those who put their trust in themselves with those who trust in God. The latter are like healthy trees with deep roots and a constant water supply, never in danger of drying up or dying. The psalmist uses the same image to describe those who meditate on God’s teachings. Thus, as you do these daily readings and reflect on them, you are sinking deep roots into fertile soil. Agricultural imagery is continued in Paul’s letter. Paul describes Jesus Christ risen in the flesh as the first fruit, meaning that he is the first of many who will be resurrected. In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, worldly success is not necessarily an indication of God’s blessing.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 17:5-10. Examine your heart. Do you place your trust in “mere mortals” or in the Lord?
Read Psalm 1. How do you seek to meditate on God’s Word day and night?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-20. How has your understanding of the resurrection of the dead changed your living?
Read Luke 6:17-26. How do you understand the paradoxes of Jesus’ blessings and woes?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.