At our Fellowship meeting on Tuesday - our return to meeting now that a lot of the Pandemic restrictions have been lifted in Scotland - Gill shared a story of our grand-daughter Ella, who had visited the day before. Ella is keenly aware of Jesus in her life, and at the lunch table, her conversation had turned to having Jesus at the 'party'. Gill had tried to explain that He is everywhere around and in us. Ella's five (and a half) year old mind would have none of it. "No, Grandy! Jesus is there... ," she said, pointing to the empty chair opposite her.
Ella is trying to get her youthful, precocious mind focussed on who Jesus is for her, and where better to start than at the table. Jesus says to us 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and He with me' [Revelation 3:20 NKJV]. The notion of dining with Jesus is a powerful one. In a sense it combines the external life and the internal sustaining in one everyday essential occurrence. We need to eat to stay alive physically; we need Jesus to stay alive spiritually.
It seems particularly relevant when we read of a story from Jesus' childhood - revealing His coming of age at feast-time; the Feast of the Passover.
His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.
And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.
When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it;
[Luke 2:41-43 NKJV]
That Joseph and Mary were unaware of where young Jesus had got to, was not due to lack of parental care, but to Jesus' determination to follow His heavenly purpose. This is revealed in Luke 2:46-49.
Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.
And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.
So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?”
Jesus knew - and showed us the deeper meaning of the Feast; '... I must be about My Father's business?' Ella would say, "Did you never know?"
Intellect and prayer are united in the saint in the consciousness of Christ which we share, consequently the consciousness of self-realisation is a perversion and a snare.
[from ‘Christian Discipline Volume 2’]
'We Will Feast In The House Of Zion' ~ Keith and Kristyn Getty + Sandra McCracken