Something to think and pray about this weekIt is also the Lord's day, when we give time to God.
It was the Jews who taught us to observe the sabbath, though they kept it on what we call Saturday. The book of Genesis described God as resting on the seventh day. That story at the beginning of the Bible is not history but myth, a picturesque way of conveying a vital truth: that God existed before the world or time, and is the creator of all. The notion of working hard and creatively for six days and then resting on the seventh has entered deep into human history. The sabbath, whether we celebrate it on Saturday or Sunday (or on Friday as the Muslims do), is not just a day of rest. It is also the Lord's day, when we give time to God.
That seems like a simple and cheering idea. The father of monasticism, Saint Benedict, had a lovely phrase for it: vacare Deo; Finding space for God. It means changing the tempo of our lives, taking it easy, stopping after a week's work to see where we are going. For some people that means slowing down, if they have a demanding job on weekdays. For others, especially as we grow older, one day is much the same as another, and we do not need much slowing down.
*recalls Loving Jesus* That idea that worship isn't about us but is about God. That God gives us EVERYTHING and the least we can do is give back an hour of our time each week.
Thinking about what it would mean to set aside an entire DAY for Sabbath. What a radical reorientation of one's life that would be.
Saint Benedict, had a lovely phrase for it: vacare Deo; Finding space for God
"Vacare" made me think of "vacate," of emptying oneself out, which I think is interesting -- the idea of emptying oneself out to be filled with God.
Monday 9 FebruaryI don't tend to think of myself as particularly (excessively) materialistic, but I reread this passage a number of times and what I found calling my attention was Grant, O Lord, that I may be free from greed and selfishness. I have often self-identified as "greedy" (usually in redacted contexts) and probably as "selfish," too.
Dear Lord as I come to you today
Fill my heart and my whole being
with the wonder of your presence
It is so easy to get caught up
with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free
from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free.
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.
I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form?If I KNEW WHY, my life would be so much better, wouldn't it?
If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?
The idea of "let[ting] go of the concerns that disturb me," though... I mean, a lot of what I'm concerned about is connected in large part to my lack of control over things (a friendship I still feel somewhat uncertain in, a beloved I can't take care of as I would wish due to various factors).
Mark 6:53-56This reminds me of what Ari said Rev.S. said about Sunday's lectionary text (Mark 1:29-39), about how all are in need of Jesus' healing, and how we the church are called to incarnate that healing -- which has kind of been her theme recently as they've been working through Mark. In rereading it I was struck by how many people there are in need of healing -- I get this sense reading the passage of these swarms of people. How many do we not see? We are called to be the incarnation now (the Church is the Body of Christ).
When Jesus and the disciples had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
Help me, Lord, to notice how you are speaking to me.
Out of curiosity, I went back and clicked on the "Need Inspiration?" after I was done.
Sick people can recognise goodness and sincerity when they see it. Maybe that's why they went in crowds to Jesus, as well as hoping for a cure. Something of the divine went out from him, something that can lift us to hope and courage in bad times. In prayer we bring that 'sick' side and weak side of ourselves to God, knowing it is never untouched by our prayer.The word "cure" pinged me because Mari had posted just last night:
I did enjoy the meditations we were reading and discussing. It was the "Out of Solitude" sequence by Henri Nouwen, and it had some lovely things to say about the need for a balance between solitude/contemplation and community, and about the dichotomy which exists in society between, as he put it, care versus cure. [...] I especially enjoyed working through the meditation on care versus cure. What he was talking about there was the tendency in our society for us to, when someone comes to us in pain or in need of help, to immediately jump into taking control and trying to fix the situation for them, when a lot of times, what they need more is someone to just be with them, to experience their pain with them, and to let them know that you are there for them, not that you are in charge. It had me thinking a lot about the intimacy of allowing someone else to see you as vulnerable, to not be perfect and in control. It's rather terrifying, but also very necessary.And back to Sacred Space:
Conversation requires talking and listening. As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in his eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell him of my worries and my cares. I will open up my heart to him as I tell him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask him to help me to place myself fully in his care, to abandon myself to him, knowing that he always wants what is best for me.Wow, I am apparently really squicked by this idea of an actual Jesus standing next to me or something.
*moving right along*
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,And possibly because I was already uncomfortable, I was cranky at the male God language (language which often doesn't faze me).
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.