Image of bird against sun
I am sitting by a lake listening to the bird calls as the sunset goes down. Insects and dragonflies buzz around and the smells of the flowers waft over to me and calm my mind. People have used nature for years when they need to get away and think through things, when they want to clear their mind and see things clearly. Nature has a way of doing that. The beauty and tranquillity designed by God speaks for itself, all nature seems set apart as if it is Holy in itself.
Today I was Alnwick Castle and gardens, and there were many wonderful sites and things to do. The low part of the day was going to look in the estate rooms which were flowing of grandeur and opulence. Occasionally I saw a painting of Jesus or some religious depiction of the bible but these were sparse. Even in the chapel it did not seem like this was a place of God as huge tapestries were hung from the walls and light seemed hard pressed to fight its way into this room. When my son came running back from exploring to find hidden teddy bears he said to me “hey dad, there is a chapel and that is were you can say your prayers!” These rooms did not seem special or awe inspiring to me as they just seemed full of money, things collected and a demonstration of how much stuff and grandeur one family can collect. The physical castle speaks more of protection but that would not have been for the majority of people just the rich few.
When I was outside gazing at the various birds flying around the castle I saw a white bird which just flew over and seemed to just fly under the sun for the picture. Birds do seem to have such freedom to their movements, they glide effortlessly and seem to be in their element.
“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
Jesus came to free us from the old laws. Every single one of us can have a relationship with him and the joyous thing to know is that we do not have to go to a special place to pray. If we have somewhere we go to pray, that is fine and it is good to have that space, which is set aside. But really if we find ourselves at the side of a lake and someone needs our prayers then we can pray straight through Jesus, or if we find ourselves in a noisy street we can still pray. But this is all done for Jesus who shed his blood for us, and that does have a price, a price many can not accept – servitude to God, following God’s word.
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me
I know that listening for the bidding and the guidance of the Spirit is key. I find that even though I know I can pray and I do in rather strange situations and places. Just like when I was caving I used to fall asleep hundreds of feet up a rope – I knew I was safe clipped onto the rope (but that is another story). I still need that set aside place, quite, uncluttered. There is nothing magical about this place but it is set aside and free from distractions so that I can pray deep prayers.
And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God.
Abraham planted a grove in the wilderness and that was his place set aside and he called upon the name of the Lord. Face and name that we have been shown is Jesus the Christ, Yeshua. Do not trick yourself with any other name, for there is only one name that can save us in this life to the next.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.