One Christian pastor's journal of personal transformation and his attempt at attaining an ever increasing vitality in his spiritual life
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Without Silence and Solitude "Our Lives are in Danger"
Henri Nouwen, focusing on Mark 1:32-39, highlights verse 35: "In the morning, long before dawn, [Jesus] got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there." Nouwen comments: "The more I read this nearly silent sentence locked in between the loud words of action, the more I have the sense that the secret of Jesus' ministry is hidden in the lonely place where he went to pray, early in the morning, long before dawn.
In the lonely place, Jesus finds the courage to follow God's will and not his own; to speak God's words and not his own; to do God's work and not his own. He reminds us constantly: "By myself I can do nothing...I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me" (Jn 5:20). And again, "What I say to you I do not speak of my own accord: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his works" (Jn 14:10). It is in the lonely place, where Jesus enters into intimacy with the Father, that his ministry is born."
It is in the lonely place where Jesus comes to fully know who he is, and to enter into the stillness in which he can hear and discern the voice of the Father. If we, too, wish to take seriously the spiritual journey - if we wish to know who we truly are! - we must regularly enter the lonely place, where silence and solitude meet.
I pastor First Christian Church, a Disciples of Christ congregation in the heart of Houston, Texas, across from Rice University, at the intersection of Sunset and Rice Blvd. As Dylan said, "Times they are 'achangin'" and so am I. As best I can be, I am a husband, father, and follower of Jesus.