I’ve been using a new lectionary for morning and evening prayer this year, and today Acts 2:1-21 was the morning reading.
I was struck by Peter’s conclusion to his sermon: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
It’s easy to forget how revolutionary this is. If you cry out for help, help will come. If you ask God to save you, he will. Simple as that. The qualification is only your honesty about your needs. Admit your need and it will be met.
As I’ve been reading the Gospels this year, I’ve also noticed something about Jesus’ presence with people. He is completely free from ego and anxiety in every interaction. This freedom allows him to be fully present to those around him, creating space for them to just be with him, right where they’re really at. And then he simply offers to help them with whatever it is they need.
In Luke 9, while he is trying to get away for some down time with his disciples, the crowds find him anyway. What is Jesus’ response?
“He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God and healed all those who needed healing.”
Such beautifully simple hospitality! Such presence and lack of ego!
I can’t remember who said this or what the exact quotation is, but I’m remembering that one of the great Christian spiritual teachers once said that the height of spiritual maturity is when one gets to a place of self-emptying so complete that she is able to be present among people in any situation able to say, “How can I be of help?”
That’s how I’d like to be when I grow up.