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Somewhere Else To Be Moments

Today’s Reflection

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:46-47)

IN THE SCRIPTURE reading for today, Jesus is trying to get out of town. He has been in Jericho, but now it is time to leave. He has somewhere else to be.

In these “I have somewhere else to be” moments, we certainly don’t want to be interrupted. And most of us have learned that those are precisely the moments when we should most expect to be interrupted.

As Jesus is leaving Jericho, someone yells his name. I wonder what effect this has on Jesus. …

We don’t know that Jesus bristles when he hears his name called as he is leaving Jericho. We don’t know if he is tired or frustrated. What we do know is that he does not respond immediately. We know this because many try to shush the blind man before Jesus does respond. . . .

If we were intent on leaving – if we had somewhere else to be – would we notice a desperate plea from someone in need? Would we stop or continue on our way?

There are certainly times we have urgent or important plans. Yet, we must decide how we will respond to demands for our time. …

During our interrupted lives today, we will need to listen intentionally to the voices of those around us. In the midst of our constantly interrupted lives, we can train ourselves to tune out all the distracting voices. May we not be so closed off today that we miss the voices of those in need. They may be just the voices that God wants us to hear today.

– Jacob Armstrong

From pages 28-30 of Interruptions: A 40-Day Journey with Jesus by Jacob Armstrong. Copyright © 2014 by Jacob Armstrong. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Listen for the voices of those in need around you today. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:20, NRSV

This Week: pray for those newlyweds. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Martin Luther (February 16).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 6 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller February 19, 2016, 3:51 am

    Interruptions certainly are a constant in my life, knowing what and how to deal with them is important as we learn from today’s reflection. It always amazes me how the Bible, and in this case the Gospel, teaches us so much about how to deal with life. Thank You, Lord, for teaching about the importance of interruptions. May we learn to value them and the opportunities they present.

    Thankful for laundry done, plans for cooking men’s communion breakfast,
    letters sent, a lenten service and lunch today, communication with my children.

    Prayers for newlyweds, may their union be God focused, inspired, and dedicated. Prayers for those we met in Jamaica, for Bethel Methodist Church in Hopewell, Joseph Russell and Albert Jump, and the staff of Sunscape Cove.
    Prayers for Anneliese as her surgery nears. Watch over and guide our families.
    Prayers of support for Aaron Shoemaker. Blessings to the UR family. In Your name, I pray, Lord. Amen.

  • Jill February 19, 2016, 3:52 am

    Certainly there are many in need around me – I have to be willing to listen, to pause, to step out of my routine and comfort zone.
    Last night at my women’s small group – a few prayer requests were mentioned. Generally – we do not share these…I am not sure why…however last night there were a few pressing burdens on some hearts. One request concerned a job interview today. The company this lady currently works for is closing the end of March. She had been considering retirement, but feels like this opportunity fell in her lap – and she needs to explore it. I made myself a reminder note to send her a text later on this morning – to encourage her. She isn’t quite sure if she even wants this job, but feels led to explore.
    Father – thank You for this group of women and the authenticity that exists during our time together on Thursday evenings. Please be very near those who were not with us last night.
    Continued gratitude for how well my student teacher is doing. It is hard for me to find things for her to improve on – yet she readily accepts these. Grateful for the hope of warmer temperatures this weekend…really warmer considering it is February. Grateful, too, for openness and camaraderie that exists in this space. Loving you this morning and always, UR friends. Thank you UR for providing platform.

  • Rusty February 19, 2016, 6:01 am

    Today’s reading reminds me of the one last fall entitled “Graceful Interruptions”. I am captivated by the idea that God (often gently) interrupts our headlong charge in pursuing whatever we believe needs to be done on a given day and making known to us what he has for us instead. We get so caught up in our own lives and worldly pursuits that without his interruptions we might never pause to grasp the grace he extends to us or the act of mercy he has for us to extend to others.

    Grateful for traveling home today after a week of meetings on the east coast. Grateful for this week’s having been a graceful interruption. Often work travel is full of hustle bustle. This week also, though, the Lord granted me amazingly good sleep and actually a less hectic and harried week than I would have had at home. (Thank you, Lord for allowing me a respite from my normal long commute, clients with problems that demand attention, and other responsibilities that can mean inadequate sleep or sub-par rest). Thank you Lord that I am headed home with renewed energy to accomplish whatever tasks you have for me to do there. Grateful for UR friends and the openness, sharing and support given and received here.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 19, 2016, 6:29 am

    Grateful for the weekends. Raining heavily over here in Singapore.

    Teaching my students this week about the good and the bad Angels for character compass. Whose voice are they following. We even played a game about this. With a child blind folded, he was surrounded by only a good angel and two bad Angels to give instructions to a designated place. It is confusing for the blinded folded child and also the journey to his destination was delayed because of confusion.

    May God grant us discernment to listen for His voice and obey Him.

  • Betsy February 19, 2016, 6:37 am

    I agree, Ruaty, that many of the interruptions we experience are God changing our directions; leading us in the way we must go. Help me, Lord, to be attentive to these interruption; not be closed off and miss where there is a need. Thank you ,God, for showing us through Jesus, that we should always make time for those in need. Amen
    Thank you, UR family, for your continued prayers for my nephew and my sister. Today he is released from the short term treatment center and will then go into outpatient therapy, while returning to school. I will be calling her later today see how it’s going. Continue to lift them up.

  • Barry Chitwood February 19, 2016, 1:58 pm

    A few years ago, I was driving home from teaching a night class in an adult community school. I stopped to get gas less than a half mile from my house, when a couple, who appeared to be homeless, walked by pushing a shopping cart containing their belongings. The man asked me if I had money to spare and I told him that I did not. I was tired and did not wish to be interrupted. The man thanked me anyway and the couple moved on their way. As I drove home, I had that feeling one gets when the Holy Spirit is trying to get one’s attention. After a few minutes, I was compelled to drive back to find that couple. They were eating inside a fast food restaurant nearby. I noticed that only the woman was eating. Perhaps they only had enough money for one to eat. I asked the man if I could buy him something to eat and he gratefully accepted my offer. We sat together a talked for a few minutes as they ate and then I left, knowing that God had interrupted me in the middle of what I considered an imposition.

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