Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. - Ephesians 5:15-17
In one of my readings this morning, the author referenced a painting by the nineteenth-century French artist Jean Francois Millet--a painting entitled The Angelus.
The title of the painting refers to a thrice-daily prayer that is still prayed by many Christians around the world. For hundreds of years in virtually every village and town throughout Europe, the time for praying The Angelus was signaled by the ringing of church bells at 6AM, Noon and 6PM.
In Millet's masterpiece you can see two peasants praying at the close of the day. Their tools and harvest are lying at their feet. In the background you can see the steeple of a church poking over the horizon as the sun begins to set.
The prayer these peasants are praying is a prayer acknowledging the mystery and wonder of the Incarnation--the belief that God took on human form through Jesus to not only reveal Godself to the world, but to rescue all of Creation.
This painting speaks to me on so many levels.
I often find myself caught up in the busy-ness of the day, so consumed with all of the things that I must get done that I don't find the time to pause and listen to God, and to reflect on the startling truth of the Good News of Jesus.
The Apostle Paul urges us to "make the most of every opportunity," or to make good use of our time in the midst of a world that seeks to keep us from doing just that.
May you make time today to stop in the middle of your busy-ness---at work, school, home or wherever you happen to be. Thank God in that moment for the gift of His Son. Pray that you will experience the startling joy of that gift as you push back against the things that keep you from seeing Him.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.