Thoughts From Toby

What’s Your Ethos?

“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him” (Luke 22:39). New school years bring times of transition for many, as they seek to get into a new routine. While the concept of “routine” can get some bad press nowadays (e.g., “Don’t be predictable!”), it can actually be quite empowering. I read a parenting article recently that said that creating routines and rituals is one of the most respectful things we can do for babies, because routines and rituals help bring dependability and predictability. And while, in some respects, we grow out of our need for such predictability, there is a sense in which routines help us bring some semblance of normalcy to our chaotic and hectic lives.

I’m challenged by the verse above, where Luke tells us that Jesus went out, as usual, to the Mount of Olives. Other versions say, “as was his custom.” The Greek word that is being translated is ethos, a word that we use in English to describe the character or characteristic spirit of a person or culture. I’m particularly challenged by the fact that this occurrence in the life of Jesus takes place in between the Last Supper and his arrest. In the midst of the chaos that he was facing, Jesus did something predictable. This was his ethos, his custom, his routine. Not to mention that what he does at the Mount of Olives is pray… also his ethos.

So… what’s your ethos? What do you do “as usual” in the midst of the hectic-ness of life? I love that we, as a church family, gather weekly, as usual, and study God’s Word together. I love that we take the Lord’s Supper every Sunday, as is our custom. I love that we pray together routinely. These things become our ethos. They are tangible reminders of the Father’s great love for us, of Jesus’ sacrifice and defeat of death, and of the Spirit’s continued presence among us. May our routines and rituals remind us of these things, and bring a sense of peace in our oft-chaotic world.