(March 31, 2020)

Luke 5:16But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

From the moment we are born, we need care that is constant, stable and dependable. When mixed messages are sent by our caregivers, it is easy to lose a sense of safety. Life becomes confusing, and we begin to unconsciously internalize messages about who we are. Why are our needs met sometimes but not others? Are we worthy of love? But when the caregiver is constant and sure, we have an environment in which to flourish. In other words, a life that is consistent can powerfully affect others.

In our lives of discipleship, do those around us see mixed messages? If someone saw your whole day or week, would they see a life that shows continuity of behavior? How do you live when no one else is around? Are your public and private selves at odds with each other? …Which one is the true you?

Jesus frequently went off to pray when no one else was around. That is, there was great continuity in His life. That continuity is a sign of a heart whose identity is sure. It is a sign of a heart that is fully surrendered to the Father.

The more firmly rooted we are in our true identity as children of God, then the greater the continuity of our entire self. The greater the continuity in our lives, then the more natural and powerful our witness will be. May we have continuity even amidst suffering. This is the power of living incarnationally. And that is exactly what we see in Jesus as He is marching to the cross this Lent.

Father, take away our shame, and help us surrender the inconsistent parts of our hearts that are not of You. Help us see ourselves through Your eyes, so that our true identity in You flows throughout our whole lives to your Glory. In the Name of our Savoir, Jesus Christ. Amen.