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Monday, November 17, 2008

Ministry and the Spiritual Life

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Ministry and the Spiritual Life

All Jesus' words and actions emerge from his intimate relationships with his Father. "Do you not believe," Jesus says, "that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? What I say to you I do not speak of my own accord: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his works. You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe it on the evidence of these works" (John 14:10-11).

Just as all Jesus' words and actions emerge from his communion with his Father, so all our words and actions must emerge from our communion with Jesus. "In all truth I tell you," he says, "whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, and will perform even greater works. ... Whatever you ask for in my name I will do" (John 14:12-13). It is this profound truth that reveals the relationship between the spiritual life and the life of ministry.

I have often asked myself, "do I really believe what these verses in John 14 say?" And I have answer the so often--overwhelmingly often--I don't. I so often settle for "my limits", what I think I can handle on any given day and in any given instance. I live out of myself and not Jesus and all of the fullness of the Godhead found in Him...It saddens my heart to know that there are always ways to live and bless more deeply, to touch a broken world more profoundly and I lack the faith to walk in this. This cannot and should not take me down the path of guilt and despair...but it SHOULD break my heart and motivate me, step by step, interaction by interaction, to live--to truly live in Jesus.

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