By Lu Mountenay of Independence, MO, USA
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. -Luke 4:1-2 NRSV
I completed the garment I was knitting, and it was time to cast off. I sometimes get frustrated while trying to get the last row of yarn off the needle without dropping a stitch. That would leave a hole. Knitters know what I mean. What I’m trying to say is that it is so much easier to cast on than to cast off.
In my life, it’s the same. It is so easy to cast on-to accumulate things. We tie ourselves down and become burdened with stuff. Sometimes the worst stuff-grudges and hurts. These can add up if we’re not careful. When we finally decide to downsize and cast off these burdens, we find it’s not as easy as it was to cast them on.
Then we can turn to the Enduring Principles. We need to make Responsible Choices and discern what is important-our relationships, our faith, our prayer life, our outreach and witness. Then we must choose what needs to go-ill will, resentment, bitterness. Then through Grace and Generosity we can forgive and ask for forgiveness. The needle begins to bare itself of the scratchy wool!
With this newfound freedom, we Pursue Peace (Shalom) from the chips that lay heavily on our shoulders. Our next garment will be softened with prayer and love. We encounter the faithfulness of the Lord which endures forever.
God, may my deep hope align with your deep vision. Release in me anything that keeps me from freely following your Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply as you enter a time of silence. Become gently attentive to what may be restricting you from faithfully responding to the divine invitation in your life. Are there priorities, attachments, tasks, or motivations competing for your response? What does freedom for God look or feel like in you this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.