Following Jesus: When the Interruption Is the Plan

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February 6, 2021

John 5:19-20 (NIV)

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.

CONSIDER THIS

I so wanted us to stay in Cana another day. I wanted us to examine those six 25 gallon stone water jars. I wanted us to talk to those water boys/girls (a.k.a. servants). I wanted us to get a good look at the banquet master’s face when he tasted the new wine. I wanted us to see just how much wine 150 gallons is for a crowd who has already had too much. I wanted us to see the stunning awe on the face of those disciples and to see their hearts swell with joy at this new thing they were now a part of and burst with faith for the way ahead. I wanted us to have a coffee with Mary. 

But we must get on to Capernaum. Why? Because Jesus is going to Capernaum. This party of Jesus is a mobile and moving party. And whatever party his party joins goes next level. So as we are walking there in this band of believers (aka early adopters), I find myself looking for Jesus’ strategy and plan only to wonder deeper if he even had one. What if Jesus wasn’t strategic? He’s certainly not going to the VIP’s of his time. It’s a leper one day, a paralytic the next, and a blind man after that. Wedding one day, tax collector’s banquet the next, and eating in the home of a Pharisee after that. He’s not marketing his events. Whoever shows up gets fed. 

What if his life was just one unending string of interruptions, right up until the final interruption—the day they nailed him down to two pieces of wood? And whatever the situation was, he managed to interrupt the interruption itself with an even larger kind of holy disruption. What if God is so amazingly sovereign that he can set his sovereignty aside and subject himself to all the unpredictable vicissitudes, unjust circumstances, vain whims, cruel intentions, and occasional gifts of gratitude of the world he created and see it all through to the other side? After all, in all this apparent lack of a strategic plan he defeated sin and destroyed death. Even more incredulous, he destroyed death by death. If that doesn’t blow up your hard drive I don’t know what will. What if the interruptions turn out to be the plan? 

Upon deeper reflection, it strikes me that Jesus did have a strategy. Obedience. Moment by moment obedience. Trusted relational obedience. Abiding obedience. 

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.

The mind of Jesus looks like obedience. Moment by moment obedience. Trusted relational obedience. Abiding obedience. 

THE PRAYER

Almighty God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—my Lord Jesus Christ, I belong to you. This is the only thing I need to remember and yet it is the thing I continually forget. Jesus, I belong to you. Something deep down tells me the secret of real obedience is not in trying to be obedient but in realizing I belong to you. Jesus, I belong to you. Amen. 

THE QUESTION

So what if it turns out that the interruptions were the plan? How might that change how you enter into this day? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

P.S.

Three invitations here: 1. Reserve your complimentary ticket for A Night with New Room: Ash Wednesday. 2. Check out the 2021 Awakening Calendar. 3. Grab a songbook for Soundtrack

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Running an antique mall is nothing less than a lesson in life interrupted. The lives of the vendors impact my life and what I am trying to do with the antique mall. When something truly tragic happens and they are not showing up like they need to there is no clear answer–there is no hard and fast rule that applies as I try to juggle their welfare and the welfare of the business. Then there are the customers–some of whom just want to talk–luckily I have already been on the receiving end of how somebody just listening is huge. And then there are the pickers and the people just needing some money to get through or a ride back home because they bought too much at the Dollar General; and sometimes as I try to gently turn them down, the note of urgency and panic surfaces and I have no idea if it is real or not. And then there is the young man from the neighborhood– I don’t even know his name–and he comes in just to cool down or warm up and is eternally grateful that I bought an item or two from him and wants to make sure the store is doing OK and I am OK during this strange time.

    And then there is dealing with the vendor who also works for me whose coping mechanism has been to go down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories and insists on sharing them with me; they have a hint of validity to them and yes something needs to give but……….

    And then there is the crazy over the top vendor who is actually a strong orthodox Christian…….

    The biggest lesson I am learning is that no matter how bad or strange somebody initially come across, at some point the image of God makes an appearance.

    Somehow in this time of covid and political turmoil and all the interruptions the store keeps moving on. Even with foot traffic noticeably down and more days where absolutely nothing is sold, at the end of the month everything is OK and sometimes we even set a record,,,,,,,,,

    I no longer have any plans–it is literally one day at a time and what that day brings; and the day, week or month or year is not over until it is over.

  2. “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son will do. Interruptions happen as the universe aligns itself with the will of God. For truly our God knows the beginning from the end, and nothing happens that is not in his control. Our God causes both the cataclysmic and the tranquil. All that we can do is yield to his leading, and be ready to experience his fullness in each experience.

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