“What Are You…” explores finishing that sentence. Through this series I’ll be finishing those sentences with …singing…listening to…and reading, getting to share some of my favorite hymns, songs, music, bible stories, and authors.
What are you reading for inspiration? The Bible!
This is my last post (for now) sharing a bit about some of my favorite stories from scripture! Four is not enough really, but I think we’re getting close to an end of this series. All four of these stories, in no particular order, have brought me inspiration, hope, and courage. Over the last few years I have found myself returning to these four often. And I’ve already seen the how other stories, other life from the pages of our bible, have begun to find similar places in my heart and mind.
Jesus Praying in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46)
The first time I preached on Jesus praying in the garden was in the version from Matthew. All of the gospels have a version of Jesus praying before his arrest. I think Matthew may be my favorite.
Mainly because as much as I need the divine, Son of God, Jesus – I need the human Jesus too. I tend to find myself drawn towards stories that create space for me to actually relate to Jesus. That it’s not just me with all these feelings, fears, and doubts, but that Jesus really does know what it means to live in this life.
Courage in prayer
When Jesus goes to Gethsemane, in Matthew he tells his disciples to sit nearby while he prays while taking a few of the disciples with him. Matthew tells us of Jesus’s grief and agitation. Jesus knows what he’s facing, and he’s human about it.
He throws himself on the ground in prayer, a prayer so similar to ones I have said myself recently. Jesus says, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” And just this autumn I found myself saying, “God, please, if it’s possible, if it’s Your will, please give us a miracle.” Over and over again.
It takes courage to pray for hope in the face of tragedy.
Courage to eventually get up and say, “Okay, what’s next?” After praying over and over again, Jesus eventually says, “Get up, let us be going.” In the same ways so many of us dealing with heartbreak and grief eventually pull ourselves off the floor to find God is there with us, walking alongside us.
Bringing us a relationship of courage and hope and understanding for when we need it most.
Daniel, Deborah & Jael (Judges 4), Jonah, the bit in Acts with a shipwreck, Paul’s letter to the Galatians, and so much more.