Reflection may not flash and shine like many activities that catch the human eye, but it is a demanding and rewarding part of worship.
Every day is a gift from God and is a day for reflection, for thinking deeply about life and the author of life and for fully engaging the imagination God gave us for just this purpose—the contemplation of the divine. Reflection in prayer does not happen by accident; it is a conscious choice involving specific exclusions and inclusions. The worshiper must close his/her mind to many things and open every window in his/her heart to everything God has.
Reflection is the process of intense study. Another word might by contemplation. Biblical words include meditate, consider, behold. Reflection begins and ends with Jesus. Just as He is the center-holder in heaven’s throne room, Jesus must be the center of our reflection. The ministry of the Holy Spirit in both private and public worship is to help us center our hearts on Jesus, moving other personalities and other considerations to the periphery.
- If we wonder about the nature of God, we should think on Jesus; He has revealed God to us in terms we can understand.
- If we are to contemplate the justice and judgment of God, we must reflect on what Jesus said and did in this life.
- If we desire to really care for people, we should enter into the Love of Jesus so that we can experience it and pass it on others.
- If we want to be wise, we must study the Master’s every word, parable, prophesy, and prayer. As the Old Covenant says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
As we read the scriptures, the contemplation of Jesus and the saving acts of God must be the lenses through which we read every account. We must hear the name Jesus every time we read the name “Lord.” When we read the gospels we must imagine ourselves in every scene:
- We are standing in every crowd who hears Him speak. We can almost taste the fish and bread from the little boy’s lunch.
- From the mountaintop we hear Him present the constitution of the New Covenant, the world’s most famous sermon.
- We are in the shadows when Nicodemus conducts his nocturnal interview about the new birth.
- We are seeking shade in the heat of the day at the well in Samaria where New Covenant worship was introduced to the world through the questions of a wicked woman.
- In the book of Acts we can accompany the Apostles on every journey and we can consider every letter in the New Testament to be addressed to us.
Today, as you worship in the Secret Place, reflect on Who Jesus is. His presence will gently flow through every window in your heart that you open to Him.
Psalm 119:15-16 NKJV
I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
Psalm 27:4-5 NKJV
…one thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NKJV
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
From the Book of Common Prayer
O Almighty God, who pours out on all who desire it the spirit of grace and of supplication: Deliver us, when we draw near to You, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections we may worship You in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Think about His Love
Words and Music: Walt Harrah
Think about His love, think about His goodness,
Think about His grace that’s brought us through.
For as high as the heavens above,
so great is the measure of our Father’s love.
Great is the measure of our Father’s love.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved
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