Wendy Bray concludes the series on silence with a look at how Jesus embraced silence and solitude.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. Luke 4
As we conclude our consideration of solitude and silence, it might help us to ask ourselves some questions about Jesus' use of both as our role model. This chapter of Luke begins with the temptation of Jesus in a solitary place and goes on to tell us about the rejection of his commission by his own community and the misunderstanding and amazement of those who witnessed his healing ministry.
Solitude and silence may have given Jesus the opportunity for prayer and rest, but they were also times of struggle, loneliness and resignation for him among people who resisted his message and ministry. Increasingly, as Christians, our experience may be similar. Will we make prayerful use of difficult and isolating times of solitude and silence or will we reject and rage against them, believing them to be of little value?
Jesus chose silence as a response at the most difficult times in his life (see Matthew 27:11–14). How wise are we with our use of words? do we speak too often when to remain silent would be more appropriate or meaningful?
Jesus used silence and solitude to rest, to pray and to spend time with his Father and he encouraged others to do the same. How do we choose to spend our 'rest' times? Is God invited? Jesus also spent time in silence and solitude on days that were particularly demanding—when choosing his closest disciples, after a long time spent teaching or healing and in Gethsemane before his death. do we turn to God in solitude and silence at times of decision-making, high demands and stress? Or do we leave time spent in prayer somewhere near the bottom of our list of coping strategies? Most importantly, Jesus chose silence and solitude. do we?
Taken from Day by Day with God, published by Bible Reading Fellowship, available to purchase from Eden.
March 21st, 2012 - Posted & Written by Bible Reading Fellowship