Wednesday, January 28, 2009

21 Days of Consecration - Day 18, John 18 - Favorite Meeting Place

Do you have a favorite hangout? A favorite place you like to meet with your friends or family? I have several. For many years my family (Dad, Mom, brother, sister, etc) has had "Family Lunch" together. It used to be on Fridays but then moved to Thursdays and we meet at same place every week - PoBoy Express! (Yeah, we're big spenders! [G]) A couple of years ago I started having regular lunch with a friend and now its grown to include several men. We meet every Friday at Logan Farms - "Lunch with the Guys" is a standing thing for us. They know we're coming and usually reserve the same tables for us.

Jesus had a place like that with His friends too. In the story of Judas betraying Jesus we get a glimpse of it:
"When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples. Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples." (John 18:1-2 NASB) (See picture of Garden of Gethsemane at right, courtesy of BibleStudy.org)
Did you catch that last part? Jesus often met there with His disciples. There's a certain intimacy and familiarity about the verse that speaks comfort to my soul. Jesus had a favorite hangout with His friends. And in those moments when He wanted to get away, to just be with His friends, that's where He went. So He could talk with them, be real with them, let down His hair around them. (OK, I doubt He ever wore His hair up, but you get the point! :-) )

As I think back over these 18 days I realize we've developed a new "favorite meeting place" with Him. Each day we've met with Him in the garden of His Word. And each day He has shared some new intimacy, some new peek into the corner of His heart for us and our loved ones. We've also met with him in the garden of our soul and together we have weeded and pruned and lovingly cared for what He sees as a beautiful place.

Even though our 21 Days of Consecration journey is drawing to its destination (I'm a little sad about that), our favorite meeting place doesn't end on Saturday. I believe He still longs to meet with us in the garden, to share heart intimacies with us, to experience life exchange. We've got three days left - but let's make it just the beginning of regular "gardening time" in our new favorite places: the garden of His word and the garden of our soul.

Blessings,
Nathan

P.S. I've been given 25 tickets to the Louisiana College basketball game Thursday night. Women play at 5:30, men at 7:30. I've got Community Group that night but I'd love for these tickets not to go to waste. Just give me a shout if you'd like some!
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