Just This Much

“Just This Much”

While there are few hints in the Bible about the 40 days between the resurrection of Jesus and His ascension, I cannot help but think that the disciples were remembering and trying to understand, processing if you will, all that Jesus had said to them.  It would seem to me that the last words of Jesus would have been most on their minds.  What we call the Upper Room Discourse (John13-17), then His interaction with Peter at the lake, and of course, some of His main teachings like the Sermon on the Mount.  Had I been one of them, I think I think that these would have been uppermost in my mind, at least that’s true of me today.

Statements like, “You have heard . . . But I say . . .” (Mathew 5); “. . . you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48);  “As You have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (John17:18).  And there are so many more teachings of Jesus that were/are so challenging.  Some writers speak of the “hard sayings of Jesus,” of which there are many!

So where does one start?  How do we begin?  Barbara Brown Taylor writes, “It is not necessary to take on the whole world at first. Just take the three square feet of earth on which you are sitting, paying close attention to everything that lives within that small estate.”  In other words, start where we are and do what we can.  

Let me think out loud for a moment:  I should learn about where I am.  I should always remember where I am.  I should stop and learn from what I hear and see right where I am, in other words, pay attention.  And then I am to do what I can, that is, what God enables me to do, to transform the “three square feet on earth” that, in a sense, belong to me, into a place that Jesus could call home.

Please never forget that Jesus did not/does not expect us to do this alone.  He said to His disciples (Acts 1:8), “. . . you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”  There is a Holy Spirit anointing and power for “here” for “there”, wherever “here” and “there” happen to be!

Here’s some good news:  God has not called us to engage every problem in Washington or London or Columbus or Cincinnati or even Dayton.  God has called us to first become engaged in our “here,” our families, our circle of friends, our neighborhood, our work – the “three square feet of earth” right in front of us . . . just this much.  Remember the saying, “by the inch it’s a cinch!”  Now there is that other one, “no pain, no gain,” but that’s for another day!  

So, maybe, just take a walk around your neighborhood.  Listen.  Look.  Pray.  Sit on your front porch or in the swing in the backyard.  Listen.  Look.  Pray.  Pause in your workspace.  Listen.  Look.  Pray.  While grabbing a quick lunch, pause:  Listen, look, pray.

The “three square feet of earth” where we are – just that much.  Don’t over- complicate or over-think this.  Simplify:  “The three square feet of earth” where you are!  Stop.  Listen.  Look.  Pray.  Then, ask God to help you transform this “three square feet of earth” into a place that Jesus could call home.

On the journey . . .

Pastor J K

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