This week I came across Rowan Williams’ book Meeting God in Mark. It a beautiful and profound meditation on Jesus’ miracles and teaching, and on the great lengths Jesus took to explain the true nature of God and God’s work in the world.
In his reflection, Williams describes how Jesus, before performing a miracle, stooped to interact with the sick and needy. He wanted to establish a genuine relationship with them, a relationship of trust. If there was no relationship of trust, Jesus didn’t perform a miracle. Then, surprisingly, Jesus often told them to tell no one! He didn’t want his message about God and God’s actions to be about miracles.
Rather, Jesus’ persistent message was that God’s kingdom wasn’t coming through external power imposed on people from heaven, but it was coming from within, operating from the inside out. Look around you, said Jesus, in the every day, in the way crops grow in the field, the way seeds turn into giant trees, the way a child is born, and the way yeast causes dough to rise. God’s power acts quietly, mysteriously, out of sight, transforming from the inside out. As Williams puts it:
How does God work? Subtly, slowly, from the very depth of being. Or steadily, irresistibly, like light reaching the corners of the room. [God] works outward from the heart of being into the life of the every day – not inwards from some distant heaven. This is how God works, [says Jesus,] and you ought to be able to see it in the world around you in the world God has created and rules.
We just have to have eyes to see and hearts to trust. May you look around you this Lent, and notice everywhere the joy of God’s quiet, hidden, mysterious work, transforming from the inside out. May you also sense within you the stooping, loving Jesus, who gently seeks a deepening relationship with you.
Photo by Gary Barnes from Pexels
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