Read His Words Before Ours!
Read enough of my writings, sit with me at coffee, or walk beside me as the sun sets and you will know, “this girl loves small things.”
The solitary flower in a mass of wild weeds.
The softly curled leaf, just hinting at gold while its counterparts wear green.
The single dappled spot on the underside of my daughter’s toe.
I gravitate towards the “little known and oft’ forgotten” that I might re-discover old treasure made new again. Imagine my delight when, after weeks of praying and studying the Mount of Olives, I found “it,” a tucked-away pocket of words waiting for me to discover anew. The words are easily glossed over, as I had a hundred times before, but today, the Spirit of God raised them up out of His word for me to see with fresh eyes.
“During the day, He (Jesus) was teaching in the temple, but in the evening, He would go out and spend the night on what is called the Mount of Olives. Then all the people would come early in the morning to hear Him in the temple.” (Luke 21:37-38)
I have a sacred space in my house where I sit in the mornings or late at night with my Bible, journal, and pen. When I first began meeting regularly with the Lord, my spot was in my baby’s nursery where morning light flooded my pages. Then it moved to the reclining chair in my room where I could look up to find a tiny cross etched “coincidentally” in the paint above me. When the chair was retired, my space became a square on the floor beside my bed, its lowness reminding me of my need for humility and for Christ’s perfect humility towards me. With my back against the wall, I’ve sat hundreds of times weeping in grief or joy, angry at injustice, delighted with God’s beauty, or sitting silently to hear His voice. Each time, I’ve stood up, having been reminded of truth wrapped in grace. This space has been life-giving to me, not because of its physical attributes, but because of the living God who faithfully meets me.
As I read the passage in Luke, I realized for the first time that Jesus also had a sacred space He regularly visited. The Mount of Olives.
I love nature and hiking and muddy creeks, scraggly branches, jumping frogs, and hidden hollows, but sleeping overnight…outside…under the sky? No, thank you. Firm No. N to the O, No!
But this was Jesus’ spot: His place of prayer, rest, and renewal all night long.
Because Jesus was both fully human and fully God, I am confident He had favorite trails up the mountain’s side. Perhaps He took different ones depending on His mood as He processed the human emotions of the day. Did He shed tears as He walked the familiar terrain to the spot He had deemed “His” for sleeping and prayer? Did He recount aloud conversations He’d had with His disciples or the Pharisees? Perhaps His fingers graced the edges of silky flower petals as He walked, knowing every granule of pollen as only the Creator could. Surely some nights He went without sleep as He watched the moon arc across the sky He held in place. These scenes seem likely considering the divinely human nature of the Lord Jesus, but one action is absolutely certain: here the Savior, God in the flesh, communed with the Father by the Spirit’s breath.
This is what made the Mount of Olives special for Jesus.
Did Christ have continuous connection with the Father through the Spirit while on earth?
Yes; all three Beings equally comprise the Triune God. Yet, while on earth, Jesus gave us this quiet, tucked away example of deeply intimate prayer and escape throughout the gospels.
He left the crowds midday to pray. (Luke 4:42)
He rose early, hungering for this place of deep prayer. (Mark 1:35)
He spent His nights walking the trails of Mt of Olives to be alone with the Father. (Luke 21:37-38)
On these mountain slopes, He taught the masses how to love one another and live with a kingdom mindset. (Matthew 5:1-11)
Oddly enough, considering the title of our Journey Theme, it wasn’t the terrain of the mountain that drew Jesus, it was the communion He shared with Father and Spirit in quiet isolation. He delighted in being tucked away from the crowds, out on the mountain His very own breath had created, as He shared solitude with Father and Spirit in prayer.
As the sun’s rosy glow began warming the hard ground beneath Him the next morning, Jesus opened His human eyes and began His trek down the mountain. I can see the smile on His face as He walked, continuing His conversation with the Father, while approaching the temple to teach again of lasting hope found in God alone.
His rhythm of sacred conversation is meant to be shared.
He freely invites us into communion with the Triune God of the Universe!
What a marvelous thought, that we should be invited as co-heirs with Christ and, by His Spirit, we are urged to call out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15-17)
Jesus spent many nights walking the terrain of the Mount of Olives and resting His head on its mounds of dirt and leaves, but the terrain of our hearts is where He most longs to meander.
He desires for us to know Him as He is.
Come, enter the conversation!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!