Category Archives: Devotional Reading

We Begin Again

I need to take up journaling again. Studies done, there will be time for reflection on the day’s events – and time to write these reflections down.

I am beginning to read a book by Jan Richardson, In the Sanctuary of Women. In the introduction she tells the story of prayer books being found during the renovation of an ancient convent. She speaks of the image of a woman with a book of prayer in hand, of this being a way for these medieval women to participate in the Word and pass the Word on to others. I like that image. I do pray that my study of the Word will allow me to participate in the work of God in the world, passing onto others the good news that God actually wants to be involved in our daily lives.

The author goes on to state that prayer was “intertwined” with the “daily life (of these women) and with significant events such as giving birth and entering into death. She believes that “We have struggled to know our lives as sacred texts, to perceive the ways that God has written God’s own story within us, to understand how the Word still seeks to take flesh in and through us.” Perhaps in returning to my blog as journal, I may share some of the text of my life’s journey so that others can see ways in which the Word is taking flesh in me.

Most of my life I consider rather routine and mundane till others point out the amazing places this journey of participating in the Word has taken me. God still continues to allow me breath to continue the journey and as I begin to enter into a new phase of that journey and the challenges that will come, I know I will need all the strength God will give me. By sharing this part of my journey, may you also develop eyes to see God in the places you go.

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Gospel reading for Maundy Thursday

John 13: 1- 17 (NLT)

1 Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. 2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”

8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”

   Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”

10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.

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New Testament reading for today

The upside down nature of our faith; the foolishness that calls for sacrifice not power.

1 Corinthians 1:18-31(NLT)

18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,

   “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
      and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”

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The Gospel reading for the day

John 12:1-11

1 Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

9 When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, 11 for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.

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Solitude

I got this little bit of wisdom from Henri Nouwen this morning:

The Voice in the Garden of Solitude

Solitude is the garden for our hearts, which yearn for love. It is the place where our aloneness can bear fruit. It is the home for our restless bodies and anxious minds. Solitude, whether it is connected with a physical space or not, is essential for our spiritual lives. It is not an easy place to be, since we are so insecure and fearful that we are easily distracted by whatever promises immediate satisfaction. Solitude is not immediately satisfying, because in solitude we meet our demons, our addictions, our feelings of lust and anger, and our immense need for recognition and approval. But if we do not run away, we will meet there also the One who says, "Do not be afraid. I am with you, and I will guide you through the valley of darkness."
Let’s keep returning to our solitude.

This is where I am needing to go again.  Into solitude.

Just seems that no matter where I go these days I take a little Greek voice in my head that repeats constantly, “You should be studying” (subjunctive mood by the way)

I need to finish this course so it will be silenced.

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Connecting

In theses days of Advent, I receive a series of devotional posts from Goshen College.  In today’s devotional was a story I can identify with.  It goes like this:

A Hasidic story tells of a rabbi’s son who used to wander in the woods. The rabbi asked his son, "I wonder why each day you walk in the woods?" The boy replied, "I go there to find God." "That’s very good, son. But, don’t you know that God is the same everywhere?" "Yes," the boy answered, "but I’m not."

So, I likewise find myself needing to wander in the woods.  I think that is what my excursion to Anglin Lake was about.  Sitting inside studying my heart out may make me know some Greek but it does not connect my heart with God.  That connection with God is what I need the most.

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Morning Prayer

sunrise1

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day. Preserve me with your mighty power, that I might not fall into sin nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord.
Amen.

 

From The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle

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