Invitation to Prayer:
You do not become a person of prayer and then begin to pray. It works the other way around. If you say enough prayers, you may yet become a person of prayer. But you will not become one if you do not pray (Robert Benson, In Constant Prayer, p. 96).
The Psalm (Psalm 1)
Blessed are those
who do not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but who delight in the law of the LORD
and meditate on his law day and night.
3 They are like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will be destroyed.
The Scripture reading (Luke 9: 51-56)
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" But Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then he and his disciples went to another village.
The language most commonly used for the Christian life is “following” Jesus. Indeed that is what we do. That is what Jesus called those first disciples to do. But following is not all that we do. Jesus also sends us ahead to “get things ready for him.” Those who follow are also sent.
Where are you being sent today? One you are there, how do you “make ready” for Jesus?
Lord Jesus, it seems like my days are often shaped by habit and obligation. I go where I’m expected. I will live this day differently, knowing that you have ordered my steps and have sent me ahead. Let my presence “make ready” for you so that your presence may become real to others around me. Amen.