“Many believed in Him there.”
Jesus kept a pace. His whole life kept a pace of coming and going. He would come into a city and speak and be seen and then he would pull away. He would perform miracles in front of gobs of people and then he would go and seek solace. We see His pattern, His pace, as we read His Word. He went where He was called and remained. He wasn’t pulled to and fro by the demands of an Americanized checklist. He kept a pace — a grace pace led by Almighty God.
“He went again across the Jordan to the palace John had been baptizing first and there he remained.”
Jesus remained there. And he kept pace with God. Nothing I have ever read about Jesus seemed busy. Nothing ever seemed out-of-control or like a wheel spinning off its course. Because he wasn’t ever off course. He and the Father were one, they are still one. So am I. So are you. We, His Church, can always keep pace when we are found in Him.
And His pace is what brought others to Him. His pace revealed who He had been with. His pace gave way to the miracles. His pace kept Him available and free. His pace shaped His character and His character brought people to eternal life.
We, too, can have this. Our pace isn’t a world pace but a grace pace.
“And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.”
“And many believed in him there.”
They believed because he and his Father kept time together. Jesus knew His secret places and because His secret places were His most important places, He knew his public ones, too. His secret places shaped his public ones.
Jesus didn’t rush ahead checking off a list. He didn’t look at people as if they were His prizes. In fact, he didn’t create a list outside of His secret places. His strategic meetings were hidden meetings. Meetings on his knees, conversing with His Father. He simply kept pace with God.
I want to keep pace with God.
As I walk into this season, I grin. Christmas. The time when we remember that Jesus came to earth, born in a lowly manger. It’s a season when we worship the least likely King. A family time to gather and celebrate. A time when believer and unbeliever look at the sky and wonder. And this season of Christmas, I want to keep pace.
And sometimes I wonder what the world sees about us, Christians. Does our pace fall right along the pace of the world? Fights over red cups and excess, beautiful bodies and crammed to-do lists, A-lister parties and wanting to be seen.
When maybe the key to it all, is remembering to be seen by the King.
And the funny part — I don’t know one Christian that doesn’t want to be used by God. To see Him and experience Him. I have never met a Christian that didn’t want to see miracles. We want the miracle with the fast-paced life. We want the presence of God without getting with God. We want the relationship without making time for it. Our private places aren’t shaping our public ones, because maybe our private places are no places at all.
My dear friend, I want you to know that this season, I want to keep pace with Jesus. Slow and steady. Meeting with Him and letting Him shape and mold my every coming and my every going. I want to regard every human I come in contact these next two months as if they were my humans — brought into my courts — so that I can show the Jesus and His pace of grace.
Maybe you can pray this prayer with me? To keep pace with Christ. Maybe our seasons can look different this year. Maybe you and I can keep each other worshipping the King that gives us the best life, a paced life that would usher in an abundant Christmas and a full heart. So how? You know I want to give you a list so badly, I want to give us checkpoints like crazy because we are hard-wired for lists. But our pace isn’t going to come from a checklist. Here is the one thing that is going to set us in time with Jesus — making time for Jesus. May our season look different this year because our private space leads us into our public places.