Not Letting the Routine Become Routine

I was reading Luke 21 when verse 37 and 38 caught my attention: “Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple (NIV).” I wonder what was going through his mind each night he spent on the Mount of Olives, the place where Judas betrayed him days later (Luke 22)? I believe Jesus spent much of this time in conversation with his Father; spending time in prayer after a tiring and grueling day.

During the day when he taught in the temple courts, the chief priests, teachers of the law and the elders questioned him in hopes his answers would give them a reason to have him arrested (Luke 20:1). People were flocking to Jesus and the Jewish leaders were jealous of him. These were full days for Jesus, tending to the people, silencing his opposition, and trying to prepare his disciples for what was to come — knowing they were not quite ready. Jesus took time each night to retreat and spend time with his Father, to prepare for what was to come. Yet this very routine of evenings on the Mount of Olives seemed to make his disciples unprepared for what was about to happen.

The disciples were used to Jesus’ routine of going to the Mount of Olives each evening. Luke 22:39 tells us, “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.” Which is why I think they seemed so casual about going there, despite Jesus’ warnings. In the next verse Jesus tells them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He was telling them that this wasn’t just another night on the Mount of Olives.

My take-away from these verses is that we need to be careful that the routine does not become too familiar — to the point where we get lulled into complacency. God is very much at work in the everyday. Significant things can emerge unexpectedly from a day that seemed very routine. May we take Jesus’ words to heart: “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36).”

7 thoughts on “Not Letting the Routine Become Routine

  1. This is so good. May I never come before Jesus as just another moment but always remain in awe of His wonder and majesty. I GET to do life with Him. I don’t have to. I GET to pray, read the Bible, Worship, and meditate. I don’t HAVE to. May I never forget that!

  2. Complacency may allow the Enemy to penetrate our defenses. Just as the disciples needed to stay alert (and they didn’t), we too must guard against the same thing happening to ourselves.

  3. So true – my daily scripture reading can become another “to-do” item to check off the list. We must have the right mindset – God wants to communicate with us, to spend time with us. Thanks for the comment. He has risen!

  4. Amen! We need always be on guard against any complacency in our daily walk with the Lord. For me, the temptation comes to get comfortable in ‘my’ routine. If I am not careful, time spent in the Word and prayer can become items to check off my to do list. To combat this tendency, I often remind myself with whom it is I am praying to and reading about: The God of the Universe! My awesome Creator desires me to commune with Him and come to know Him more deeply. With my mind and heart rightly aligned in this way, the comfort of my routine gives way to the peace of being in the very presence of my Lord.
    May the joy of the Resurrection be yours,
    Pastor Chuck

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