Lead Me Pervasively

(Lead me) Pervasively,

To ask that the Lord’s leading be pervasive is to ask that God be present in every aspect of our life.  Our work, our play, our home life, our worship, our civic responsibilities, and in our speech, both private and public.  It is asking that God permeate our very thoughts so that we more and more conform our minds to the mind of Christ.  This petition is echoed in the appeal of the apostle Paul:

Phil. 2:1    If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy,  2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.  5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

The petition that God lead us pervasively is to seek a life which, in all its aspects, is imbued with the grace, peace, obedience, and joy of the Lord.  Paul’s letter to the Philippians quotes the “Christ Hymn” which describes Jesus as one who, though he was God, did not live and act from a place of privilege, but rather from a place of obedient and humble service.  That is why he is exalted.
The temptation is to compartmentalize our lives and think of our faith as something we do on the Lord’s Day when we worship together.  Pilgrims are in search of a form of discipleship which is saturated with attentive, humble, and obedient living at all times and in every place.  This, of course, is a great challenge which is why we pray, “Lead me, Lord, pervasively.”  Apart from Christ, this aspiration of a life permeated with the leading of God is not possible.  It is in and through Christ that we arrive at a life that is the good life.  But if we desire the life God is offering only here and there, we will miss the depth of God’s gifts.  It is the pilgrim who seeks to be lead pervasively and who cultivates a life steeped in dialogue with the Holy Spirit who will come to a deep and abiding faith.

Daily Collect —
Ever-present Lord: you come to us not only in worship but in unexpected places.  Indeed, the whole world points to its creator for those who have cultivated the habit of seeking you in every aspect of life.  Saturate our discipleship with meaning — be pervasively present to us, that we might come to trust that with you we are enough.  And for our part we will persistently pray, ‘Lead me” in every aspect of our life.  In the name of the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end, our Lord, Jesus.  Amen.

Paul Lang