Devotional Thought of the Day:
Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept thinking about the whole matter. Gen 37:11 TEV
True evangelization presupposes a desire in the Church to come out of itself and go to the peripheries, not only geographically but also to areas where the mystery of sin, pain, injustice, ignorance, and indifference to religion has its permanent dwelling.
We have no right to keep caressing our soul, to stay locked up in our own little, tiny bubble.
we see persons who regard personal communion and communication with God as life-changing episodes and as daily bread. Untold thousands of humble Christians who will never preach a sermon or have their name appear in print can testify to the same kinds of encounters with God as are manifested by the great ones in the Way.
Reflect: How do you respond to God invading human personality as a daily occurrence? How might you want God to invade your personality in greater ways?
As I was reading Genesis this morning, the sentence above struck me. It reminded me of the times Luke records Mary pondering these things in her heart, and of the Psalms urging us to meditate on God’s word, to consider what He has done for His people.
So Israel considered all that God was showing Joseph, and he tried to think it through, tried to understand these encounters with God, for he recognized that was what his beloved was enduring.
The quote from Dallas Willard in green notes the same kind of encounter. Some radical, something life-changing, something where God invades not just our lives but invades our personality. Where communion runs deeper than our minds can express, where our hearts and souls are overwhelmed by His mercy and love. It is what we so desperately need, this invasion of God.
When God invades, there is nothing that He doesn’t affect, there is nothing left untouched. Oh how we need to learn to desire this more, how we need to grow comfortable with His presence!
This is what truly empowers evangelism, It brings us to the place where we are drawn to the brokenness, where sin and all its accompanying problems overwhelm people, we need to be there, as God invades the brokenness.
For while we need to meditate on His love, on His presence, this meditation gives us the ability to be there when the darkness seems to dominate, to be there when the presence of God is needed.
I think, even for those of us who ponder his love, who sit in awe and wonder at the things God is doing, if there isn’t a temptation to stay there, and not join God’s invasion. The gates of Hell cannot withstand His invasion, His actions to rescue people from their brokennes, from their sin.
So spend time, thinking about how He has sustained His people in the past… and then… be ready, to dwell with Him now means we go places to invade the brokenness with Him.
Lord, help us to be so comforted by You, so confident in your cleansing, so aware of Your presence that You reveal to us, that we become those who reveal Your glorious healing light to those trapped in darkness… AMEN!
Pope Francis. (2013). A Year with Pope Francis: Daily Reflections from His Writings. (A. Rossa, Ed.) (p. 366). New York; Mahwah, NJ; Toronto, ON: Paulist Press; Novalis.
Willard, D., & Johnson, J. (2015). Hearing god through the year: a 365-day devotional. Westmont, IL: IVP Books.