The Formation of Jesus and Social Quarantine

Luke 2:52

My colleague, Rick Bennett (CU ’94), always makes me think.  One of his questions I continue to ponder: “How was Jesus formed spiritually?”

Especially in these days of social distancing and Covid-19, perhaps there is a clue for us.

Luke 2:52 states that spiritual formation was happening in Jesus, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years and in divine and human favor.” (NRSV) But, the question is “HOW?”

Jesus was not born fully knowing everything; He GREW!  Scripture affirms this!  His parents, his extended family and his friends were instruments of formation, His play time, mealtime, and rest formed him.  As Jesus grew, he learned more and more about more and more.  And the same is true for us.

However, perhaps most important for Jesus was his prayer and devotional life.  He protected these times.  When he was empty, he pulled away to refill, to renew.  His soul was well!

Which leads to another question Rick asks me almost each time we talk, “How is it with your soul?”

In these days, my soul is well!  My mind is racing and worrying.  My heart is longing to hug my children and grandchildren.  My spirit needs some good Mexican food with close friends.

But, it is well with my soul.  I know whom I have believed.  I know in the days to come, God is moving us toward restoration and reformation!

In these days, follow the model of Jesus.  Especially, follow Jesus in prayer and devotion.  Turn off Netflix, turn off your Zoom meetings, spend time with God.  We have been given a gift of time for soul-care in these days.

Thanks be to God that we don’t have to do this forming alone even during these days of staying home and social quarantine!  We are growing and being reformed even now.  Perhaps we are being reborn.  As we journey toward resurrection, I’m claiming God’s renewing spirit.

How is it with your soul?  It is well!