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Sunday Reflection, January 25, 2015

By January 26, 2015Uncategorized


“Give us this day our daily bread.” – Jesus, Matthew 6:11

I would do the things Jonathan Martin described he did in his dreams.  I would go out and fill my gas tank and run errands just as God offered his presence, conversation, and coffee.  I would determinedly make ice cream sundaes and clean rooms in my house no one would ever see just as God sat down with a listening ear.  I would do these things because I am transfixed by the then, the there, and the that.  I forget about the this, this moment right now.  I am someone who, mostly subconsciously, ends up thinking I am critically important to the world, or at least my part of the world, continuing to function.  So what an incredible relief it was not only to hear that I’m not alone in that thinking, but also to remember, as Jonathan shared, that I am not the creator and sustainer, but the creature for whom there is bread, sustenance, and provision, for this moment, on this day.  What an incredible relief to realize that “if we will attend to this moment, God will attend to us.”

We collectively exhaled last night as we practiced.  Our shoulders released and our fists opened as we kneeled together before our Father as small, weak souls.  Even as our knees ached and our backs curled from all the unnecessary weight we carry that is God’s alone, we felt relief.  We experienced the reality of who we really are: small, creaturely, and dependent.  All the things we try not to be most days.  What an incredible relief it was to be honest with each other and ourselves.  What a weight lifted, to remember that every breath, every inhale, every exhale, is given to us by this great sustainer and life-giver, our Father.  And what a gift, then, to open our hands to receive the daily bread from our Father who loves us and to pray Jonathan’s prayer for daily bread:

I do not ask
for some future bread.
I do not ask
for some lofty thing.

I ask for nothing more.
I ask for nothing less
than primal provision.

For this, and this – only this.

I do not ask for then.
I do not ask for there.
I do not ask for that.
Only this meal – this moment.

For this day, only.
For this, and this – only this.

Would you join me in practicing this exhale this week – the kneeling, releasing, breathing, receiving, praying?  May our Father grant you the courage to be small and the humility to be attentive to this moment on this day.

My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.  But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.  (Psalm 131:1-2)

Amen and amen.


Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Kyla says:

    Yay! I wanted to be quick to respond to the reflections of last night because, I so deeply enjoyed it. What an amazing gift these communal, peaceful, and expectant Sunday evenings are with you all.
    I very much enjoyed hearing Jonathon’s dreams and his delivery of them. I very much enjoyed the invitation to be brought on our knees- the joy and contentedness, like stated in Pslam 131, of being insignificant and important to our Abba.
    :)) Thanks for sharing last evening with me, friends. I really enjoyed it.

    • Aaron Niequist says:

      Thank you for being a part of The Practice Kyla, it was a joy to have you read and to share the evening with you! Jonathan’s message was such a gift, what a privilege to join our tribe on our knees in the gift of insignificance. Grace and peace to you!

  • Sharon says:

    Last night was truly a sacred space and time. Did anyone catch Jonathan’s comment that The Practice is an “intersection between head and heart, liturgy and ??? that will shape Christian culture as it spread out”??? I was reflecting on that statement and can’t remember the what word he used after “liturgy and _____”

    • Aaron Niequist says:

      Hi Sharon, we just posted the audio of Jonathan’s talk from last Sunday – hopefully you can listen through and find the phrase you were connecting to! You can listen to the audio here.

      • Sharon says:

        Thanks so much Aaron! The Practice is a blessing in my life and has brought a grounding for my soul I didn’t realize how much I needed. Thanks so much for posting Jonathan’s message and for how you and the Practice Team are open to the movements of God!

  • Catherine Carlson says:

    I have a huge job. I am in the midst of a life transition. I have a mother who is going through health issues. I have a ministry season that is just starting up again. This entire series has been amazingly poignant in my life. At this time, on this day. Each week I walk away in wonder, just not believing how much I needed what was being taught and using it to the full the following week and beyond. Each week I think there is no way next week could begin to match this week. Then I attend again, and God and the Practice team meet me where I am and blow my mind again. Thank you for the reminder that I need not worry about tomorrow, that I can be small and not have all the answers, to get on my knees and breathe into today and receive the strength I need only for this day. God will take care of it all. I get to be small. I’m sure I say it every time, but I absolutely LOVE the Practice!! We are blessed!

    • Aaron Niequist says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this Catherine! We are so thrilled that you are encountering God’s unforced rhythms of grace in your life. Jonathan’s talk was a gift to us all – you said it beautifully, may we all breathe into today and receive the strength we need only for THIS day. Thank you for the encouragement, grace and peace to you!

  • Gail Johnsen says:

    Will you be posting Johnathan’s sermon/talk? I would love to hear it!

    • Aaron Niequist says:

      Great Question Gail! We’re pleased to share that it was posted today for anyone who wants to catch up! You can download and listen to Jonathan’s talk here.

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