“One can begin one’s [spiritual] quest by attending to the desires of the heart, both personal and communal. The Spirit is revealed in our genuine hopes for ourselves and for the world. How brightly burns the flame of desire for a love affair with God, other people, the world? Do we know that to desire and seek God is a choice that is always available to us?”
–Elizabeth Dreyer (quoted by Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms]
It was Dallas Willard who reminded us that while “grace is opposed to earning, it is not against effort.” The commitment to grow deeper in our love and trust relationship with Jesus is a gift from God, it is a grace. It is the Holy Spirit that prompts us to pay attention to the desire he places deep within us that longs to know and be known by the Father, through Jesus. But we don’t need to shy away from discipline, even regular and systematic attention to habits that can form our character to respond the way Jesus would if he were in our situation.
I am grateful for the way God leads me, even through baby steps, to meet with him, with my Bible open, and my heart attentive to what he wants to communicate … while on the way to Jerusalem and his cross. I am also grateful to journey with you. I trust you are enjoying our communal reading of selected texts, which I trust is prompting a growing understanding of God’s relentless action toward salvation.
Here is our Lent Reading for Week 4 | February 29-March 6