October 23 – Jon Ritner
Today is the sixth week of our eight week Fall teaching series, “Sent: Rediscovering the Priorities of Jesus.” We are studying the life of Jesus from passages in the four Gospels.
Much is made of the profound teachings and the powerful miracles of Jesus, but what were the underlying priorities of his life that determined how he invested his time and energy? As the modern-day Body of Christ, we are seeking to reclaim his mission as sent by God to declare and display God’s universal reign over the world. We will also read together from the book by Michael Frost which will help us understand practical habits and rhythms we can adopt to live out Jesus’s priorities.
This week’s reading and application:
Read Chapter 6, Learn – The Fourth Habit
Spend one period this week learning Christ by reading from the Gospels and putting into practice what you read.
Some suggested Gospel passages to read:
Do Jellyfish Feel The Ocean?
From Still Whispers by Phil Farrand
We live at the bottom of an “ocean” of air. So the weight of the air around us isn’t just pushing down on us from above, it is pushing against you from all sides, at somewhere around 14 pounds of pressure per square inch.
That’s a lot of pressure!
Most of time we don’t even feel it because we live with it every day. But occasionally, we drive into the mountains or we hop a ride on an airplane and we feel the pressure change.
There is an interesting meditative phase that some Christian mystics ponder when thinking about God: “Boundless ocean, who can sound thee?”
For those of you who might not be familiar with the verb “sound”, it means to try to measure the depth of a body of water by letting down a rope with a weight.
The phrase is describing God as a great boundless expanse, an expanse that is beyond any attempt to measure its depth.
I have only added one perspective to this phrase as I have meditated on it. I do not imagine myself bobbing on the divine ocean.
With the Divine, there is no single direction like below. He is all.
Just like the ocean of air that surrounds us, there has never been a moment when God has not surrounded us. David performs a thought experiment on this when he asks in Psalm 139 if he could ever escape from God’s presence. And, of course, he concludes that there is nowhere he can go to remove himself from the presence of the Divine.
Right now, God completely surrounds you. He completely infuses you. If you aren’t aware of him, it’s because you have grown used to all that he does for you.
You’ve grown used to his provision. You’ve grown used to his kindness. You’ve grown used to his love.
Do jellyfish feel the ocean? Probably not.
But they should.
from Jon Ritner