“…ate their food with glad and generous hearts…” (Acts 2:46). This joyful picture caught my eye, of disciples gathering to share a meal and conversation, laughter and praise. When is the last time you joyfully share a meal with a fellow disciple? Glad. Generous. Glad and generous. When is the next time for you to share such a meal?
“…they were cut to the heart…” (Acts 2:37). As I read these words about people being convicted by the message of Christ, I thought about recent times when I had been cut to the heart by God. When have you been cut to the heart by God’s word? Was it as you read in the quiet of your home? Was it as scripture was read in the worship gathering? If you cannot remember a recent time when you were cut to the heart ask yourself two questions: Am I spending regular time reading God’s words? Have I allowed my heart to grow insensitive? Cut us, Lord. Cut us deeply. Cut us to the heart.
“It is not for you to know the times…” (Acts 1:7). Do you find it difficult to not be “in the know?” I was with a group of friends recently and our conversation brought up many questions. For example, when was that movie released? What year did that happen? Someone always pulled out their phone and googled for the answer. A craving to know was a root cause of the sin in the Garden. How much more do we crave answers in this age of readily available digital information? If it is difficult for you to not be in the know, take some time to dig into your heart to see what might be at the root of your craving. Could it be you want to be God?
“…wait there for the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4). Do you ever find it difficult to wait? Can you imagine, with all that has happened leading up to Acts 1 being told to wait? Why are we so anxious? If it is difficult for you to wait, take some time to dig into your heart to see what might be at the root of your restlessness.
“Give ear to my words, O Lord; give heed to my sighing” ( Psalm 5:1 NRSV).
When someone listens, really listens to you, they “give ear” to you. They “give heed” to you.
Isn’t it remarkable that God will listen to us in that way?
Sometimes my prayers are made of words. Sometimes my prayers are made of sighs. Sometimes my prayers are made of a word here, a sigh there.
Isn’t it remarkable that God will listen, really listen to us whether our prayers are made of words, sighs, or both?
Thank you, loving Father, for giving ear. Thank you for giving heed. How many times have you listened to my words? How many times have you listened to my sighs? Thank you.
One of my goals on a recent spiritual retreat was to laugh. While at first glance that might not sound like much of a spiritual goal for a spiritual retreat, I want to assure you it was.
As an enneagram eight, I need to play, I need to laugh, I need to enjoy. As an enneagram eight, that play, laughter, and enjoyment don’t always happen spontaneously. The toy box warns, “Some assembly required.” The eight should come with a similar warning pertaining to play, “Some cultivation required.”
So I left for my retreat ready to cultivate some play time, some laughter. My laughter cultivation had one simple tool: Netflix.
My retreat was a complete success in that I laughed until my sides hurt. I watched one episode of a show I had never before seen, the episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee that featured Jim Carrey.
Laughter is good medicine. It’s about time for me to pull out the Netflix machine and watch another episode.
“But even after they heard the news, they didn’t believe that Jesus was alive and that Mary had seen him.” –Mark 16:11 CEB
I am trying to imagine how frustrating this must have been for Mary.
She has seen Jesus.
And when she announces the news, they don’t believe it, they don’t believe her.
Can you imagine how she felt?