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Let my words be few

by davesandel on December 6th, 2012

 

Let my words be few

 Thursday, December 6, 2012

First Week of Advent

Isaiah 26:4, Psalm 118:1, 8

Trust in the Lord forever!  For the Lord is an eternal Rock.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

Antony of Egypt led the way into the Egyptian desert.  He lived alone for twenty years in a rock fortress and emerged healthy and happy.  When the new Roman emperor Constantine relaxed persecution of Christians in 313, many followed Antony, seeking a different kind of martyrdom and intimacy with God.

The desert fathers and mothers, as they were known, insisted on trusting only in God.  Just as Francis of Assisi did 900 years later, they took Jesus’ words for the rich young ruler (Mark 10) as direction for their lives: “Go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

The desert was (and is) an empty place of great silence.  Henri Nouwen writes, “Silence completes and intensifies solitude.  Silence is the way to make solitude a reality.  The desert fathers praise silence as the safest way to God” (Way of the Heart, p. 44).

Still, their pithy sayings* ring today with simple truth.   “I have often repented of having spoken,” said Arsenius, “but never of having remained silent.”

These men and women treasured the words of Jesus.  And yet, they treasured his lifestyle even more.  Jesus’ Father ministered to him in the silence Jesus sought while his disciples slept.  From these prayers, Jesus must have drawn his strength, direction, constancy, confidence.  As Jesus was filled, so he could be poured out.  The desert fathers and mothers followed his example.

We can too.  Listening in the silence, we will hear God tell us how.

I do not have courage, Lord, to follow you on my own.  But I do have two ears and only one mouth, and when I shut the one and open the others, wonderful mercies follow me.  You always provide everything I need.  All the days of my life.

http://dailydesertwisdom.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2009-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&updated-max=2010-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&max-results=50 and http://davesandel.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/the-way-of-the-heart-by-henri-nouwen/

http://christiancounselingservice.com/archived_devotions.php?article_id=1103

 

 

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