Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blogging toward Sunday

"Healing of the Blind Man" by Buoninsegna via Wikimedia Commons
In preparation for worship this Sunday read John 9:1-41. Afterward reflect on the following:
  1. How does Jesus go about healing the blind man?
  2. What conflict does the healing cause?
  3. Who celebrates the healing of the man who has been blind from birth?
May the following reading from John O'Donohue and prayer by Rosemary C. Mitchell assist you as you continue to ponder the meaning of this passage of Scripture for your own spiritual life.
What did I really see?
Many of us have made our world so familiar that we do not see it any more. It is an interesting question to ask yourself at night: what did I really see this day? You could be surprised at what you did not see. Maybe your eyes were unconditioned reflexes operating automatically all day without any real mindfulness or recognition; while you looked out from yourself, you never gazed or really attended to anything...The human eye is always selecting what it wants to see and also evading what it does not want to see. The crucial question then is, what criteria do we use to decide what we like to see and to avoid seeing what we do not want to see? Many limited and negative lives issue directly from this narrowness of vision.

via Google Images

O God, we do not always know why we are here. We are often unsure of our purpose on earth. Sometimes we hope to catch a glimpse of who you are through the eyes of your startling vision, which images us as your caring, compassionate people. Amen.

As always, I look forward to our time of worship. Continued blessings on your lenten journey.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Blogging toward Sunday

"Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well" by Guercino
In preparation for worship Sunday, March 23, 2014 read John 4:5-42 and reflect on the following:
  1. Why is Jesus in Samaria?
  2. How is Jesus' humanity revealed in this passage?
  3. How is his divinity revealed?
  4. What is the woman's initial response to Jesus?
  5. What does she do as a result of her encounter with him?
The following prayer, "Sinking wells" was written by Janet Morley. Take time to read it a couple of times and consider its meaning for your life.

Sinking wells
Come to the waters
all you who are thirsty;
children who need water
free from diseases,
women who need respite
from labor and searching,
plants that need moisture
rooted near the bedrock,
find here a living spring.
O God, may we thirst
for your waters of justice,
and learn to deny no one
the water of life.

May the Lord continue to bless you on your Lenten journey.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Blogging toward Sunday

"Jesus and Nicodemus" by Providence Lithograph Company

In preparation for worship, March 16th, read John 3:1-17. Then consider:
  1. Who was Nicodemus?
  2. How did he approach Jesus?
  3. How did Jesus receive him?
Finally, meditate on the following, written by Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet:
I would like to beg you...to have patience with everything that is unsolved in your heart and to try to cherish the questions themselves like closed rooms and like books written in a very strange tongue. Do not search now for the answers, which cannot be given you because you could not live them. It is a matter of living everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, one distant day live right into the answer.

As always, I look forward to worshiping with you Sunday. Until then, my prayer for you is that your Lenten journey will bring you ever closer to the light and love of our Lord.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Blogging toward Sunday

"The Temptation of Christ on the Mountain" via Wikimedia Commons

In preparation for worship the First Sunday in Lent, prayerfully read and meditate on Matthew 4:1-11. Afterward, take a few moments to closely examine the art provided above. Then consider the following:
  1. What strikes you as most important from the gospel reading?
  2. Who are the participants in the story, other than Jesus?
  3. What do you learn from the image above?
Finally, may you be blessed by the following Lenten prayer written by Ann Weems:

Holy is the time and holy is this place,
and there are holy things that must be said.

Let us say to one another what our souls whisper...
O Holy One, cast your tent among us;
come into our ordinary lives and bless the living!

Forty days stretch before us,
forty days of hungering after faithfulness,
forty days of trying to understand the story,
and then, Holy Week...
O God, if every week were holy...

These forty days stretch before us,
and those of us who believe,
yearn to feel Your presence,
yearn to be Your people;
and yet the days fill with ordinary things
with no time left
for seeking the holy.

Spiritual contemplation is all right
for those who have the time,
but most of us have to make a living.

Most of us have to live in the real world
where profanity splashes and blots out
anything holy.

Where, O Holy One, can we find you in this unholy mess?

How, O God, can we find the holy in the ordinary? 

I look forward to worshiping with you this Saturday, at the Celtic Service, as well as Sunday morning.
May the Lord bless you on your Lenten journey.