Cultivating A Lifestyle of ‘Putting On The Wakeful One’
Mindfulness of God: Putting On The Wakeful One
Secular and Buddhist mindfulness do not talk about mindfulness of God, this is a Christian distinctive. One of the important Gospel ideas that bears a family resemblance to mindfulness is watchfulness. Jesus models this for us in Mark’s Gospel. Ephrem the Syrian goes further to say that when we are baptised, we put on Jesus as ‘The Wakeful One.’
Part of being clothed with Jesus is to be clothed with the watchfulness, wakefulness, and attentiveness of Jesus. This is a capacity we need to grow into. As we do so we can be prophetically watchful through the Holy Spirit as we attend to God’s Word. In so doing we can begin to read the signs of the times which is so important right now in this time of uncertainty. I will look at Jesus as seer (prophet), sage (wise person), storyteller and of course saviour in Mark’s gospel. These are all capacities we need to develop: a prophetic watchfulness; creative wisdom; becoming story tellers of the kingdom; and of course, joining in God’s mission to save the world through our Lord and Saviour Jesus.
I will also touch on two important Christian practices for developing watchfulness: slow meditative reading of scripture, and the ancient prayer known as the Jesus Prayer – Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.
Cultivating A Lifestyle of Mindfulness, Wakefulness & Watchfulness
These three terms, overlap and bear a family resemblance to each other. In fact, wakefulness and watchfulness could be synonyms for each other. The key starting point is to offer a definition of them and show how they can be cultivated. The common starting point is to begin with our God-given attentional capacities and their telos or God-given purpose. It is also helpful to ask what is their intention? The purpose of Christian mindfulness is to be continuously aware of God’s presence. God redirects us to our ministry to the world.
A key verse to meditate on is John 5:19, Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.’ Paying attention as Jesus did is at the heart of the gospel and the kingdom. For as Jesus told us, ‘“The time has come,” he said. ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”’ (Mark 1:15).
About the Speaker
The Rev Shaun Lambert is a minister and counsellor, researching mindfulness for the past 8 years and looking to explore mindful church/community. He is part of the New Wine leader’s network and Mind & Soul Foundation network. He has been a faith guest on Clare Balding’s Good Morning Sunday on BBC Radio 2, & presented a spiritual reflection for BBC Radio 4’s Daily Service. The author of ‘A Book of Sparks – A Study in Christian MindFullness’, his latest books include ‘Putting On The Wakeful One: Attuning to the Spirit of Jesus through Watchfulness’.