"Looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
Here is a verse I know well - especially the part that says - "Get behind me, Satan!" I've used that line every time somebody offers me sweets. ha ha. Actually I have preached on this a bit - and like the idea that "Get behind me" means "Follow me." That makes sense and sort of softens the sting.
But this evening as I sit with this I am struck by "For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."
And then the question - what am I setting my mind on? Today it has been a lot of binge watching "House of Cards" about people who are setting their minds on self gratification and power. Religion was peripheral with one shocking scene where Frank spit on a statue of Jesus. (a little over the top in my estimation.) And the truth is that I can certainly binge on many things and find my mind all over the place.
But as I sit with this tonight I think that prayer is "setting our mind" and Bible reading is "setting our mind" and that is pretty clear. But there are other ways we set our mind on the divine - choosing to love and not judge, choosing to be grateful for the good experiences, choosing to focus on hope and possibility and not fear and despair. There is some choice in this. And there is a practice that over time leads to a changed mind and a changed life and a changed world. I believe that.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12: 1,2)
8Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:6)
When I set my mind on the divine, I remember that God is here all the time, loving and growing and working. All the time. And my prayer for myself and for anyone who is reading this blog is that we might continue on this journey of looking up for the signs of wonder that God has for us - whether it is a cross in the sky or a cardinal in flight or just the sun peeking out of a cloud. As our UCC bretthren say - God is still speaking. May we set our minds and see past ourselves to whatever God has for us today.