January 9, 2017 | JOHN RAY
Last summer, my friend Teresa was shopping for decorations for a wedding rehearsal dinner.
The groom was a history buff who liked books, so she headed down to Dickson Street Bookshop,
a favorite haunt for Jane and I when we were young and broke. It was there where she
loaded up discard-bin hardbacks to create tablescapes as decoration for the dinner.
She picked up a big box-load of tomes with historic-sounding titles and
the right color bindings for a few bucks apiece.
After the nuptials were over and the decor packed away, the question then became what to do with all the books. On a whim, she started to see what each volume was fetching on eBay. Turns out she paid about about what they were worth.
A dollar here, twenty-five cents there, ten bucks there. Then she typed in “Lenin’s Select Works” and up pops her exact book, selling for $2400. A bit more than the $6.95 she paid for it.
All of a sudden, this one book stood out from the rest.
When Isaiah (53:2) was prophesying about the coming Messiah, he noted,
“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty
or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
For those standing on the banks of the river Jordan the day Jesus was baptized, it must have come as something of a shock when this exceedingly ordinary-looking guy, a person indistinguishable from the massive crowd, had the Holy Spirit descend on him like a dove, and a booming voice from heaven began making grand pronouncements.
All of a sudden, this one man stood out from the rest.
But what does that mean for us? I would suggest that it means a lot.
In this one scene, we see the dynamic coming together of God and humanity, of the Trinity, of history. Through it all the true “value” of Jesus is revealed. He is a human, but a very different kind of human. It also means that while I am unique, I am part of this great leveling of humanity that the incarnation creates.
Take time to watch the following Video
Also, take time to look back over chapters 1-5 in the Attentive Life before our gathering this coming Sunday.
As you do, consider the following,
How has your practice of attentiveness and prayer changed?
What longings are you experiencing; good, bad or indifferent?
Finally, take a look at the following as a possible group road trip.
Grace and peace, y’all,