Ever since Skye was born, I have been quite distracted with her during worship time in church. Sometimes, I would nurse her, rock her, and try to put her to sleep. More often than not, I would be distracted with her for no reason at all. She is just an excuse I guess. Even when she is not with me, I get distracted by my silent unresponsive phone, my Pokemon Go game, or by people in the other pews saying hi. Even worse, I often get distracted with wrong grammar, mis-pronunciations and off-key harmonies on stage.
This is really a problem for me. It is quite easy to blame other people’s shortcomings (e.g. The PowerPoint is delayed or the sound system is terrible), or fix problems that are external (e.g. Aircon too cold for me to concentrate, baby distracting me), but the ultimate cause is the heart. Do I go to church ready to worship?
This reminds me of the song Heart of Worship by Matt Redman
(Sample sung by The Cov’nant Singers)
“when the music fades, all is stripped away…I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and It’s all about You, Jesus….”
One way to help myself focus once again is to begin taking down notes. Taking notes will not only force me to listen, but also to process, and reflect right away.
Our message last Sunday in Jubilee Evangelical Church was a very timely message for me to start taking down notes. My repentant heart was once again open to hear God’s word. Talk about Ouch!
Let me share some of my notes and reflection with you, all based on Pastor Eugene’s message about Luke 4:16-21
(All photo credits go to Filbert Uy @filamory )
“Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was HIS CUSTOM, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day.”
Our sabbath is now Sunday. We should make going to church a habit, come rain or shine. Going to church will not save us, but we should love going the church and worshipping together as a family.
“And he stood up to read. And the scroll and gave it back to the attendant…”
“Today the scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”
We should read and let Bible transform our lives. If I have time for Pokemon go, then I should have time for the bible. Time for craziness, trivial stuff — if we have this, all the more we should have time for God. We should not just read, but we should also apply it to our lives. What we learn should not be merely head knowledge (i.e. Love my enemies, forgive my enemies. Turn the other cheek when driving). This is how we show we love the scripture.
“To proclaim good news to the poor”
Poor = lacking in anything (i.e. No boyfriend or girlfriend)
What do you do when beggars knock on your door? Do we show even just a little bit of compassion by talking to them, feeding them or sharing the gospel?
“He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives..”
Captives of sin.
We are all sinners. We are to love the sinners. We show our love by sharing the gospel to to set the captives free, free from the bondage of sin.
We should pray for President Duterte, even if we don’t like him. We are commanded to by the bible. Instead of complaining, let us help by praying, or supporting, to help transform lives. Reach out to those in captivity. Reach out to those captives of drugs.
“And recovering of sight to the blind”
Whether it is Physical or mental blindness, we should care for them. Make time to pray for sick people or make time to visit them.
“To set Liberty those who are oppressed”
If you experience injustice, reach out to Jesus. Jesus will take care of it.
“To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”
Prosperity is not just money. It is less about money and more about salvation.
Love, joy, and peace. These are some of the things you cannot buy with money. Now that’s prosperity.
General reflection: We follow Jesus closely by fulfilling the words of the Bible. We do that when we obey the commandments of the book. We should always back up our words with deeds, and not just give lip service.
I hope I can continue the act of taking down notes, to help me focus and keep me from distractions. Most of all, I pray that God would forgive me for my sins, and continue to mold me into a better me — more like Jesus!