Wind Chimes: 12 Feb 2013

Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”

Luke 9:35 NRSV

“Listen, listen, listen,” it is the music of the chimes this week. What do you hear?

What we most need to hear

Many voices ask for our attention. There is a voice that says, “Prove that you are a good person.” Another voice says, “You’d better be ashamed of yourself.” There also is a voice that says, “Nobody really cares about you,” and one that says, “Be sure to become successful, popular, and powerful.” But underneath all these often very noisy voices is a still, small voice that says, “You are my Beloved, my favor rests on you.” That’s the voice we need most of all to hear. To hear that voice, however, requires special effort; it requires solitude, silence, and a strong determination to listen. That’s what prayer is. It is listening to the voice that calls us “my Beloved.”

Nouwen, Henri J. M. (2009-03-17). Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (p. 14). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Let us practice listening to the Chosen One this week.

keep-learning

You may want to read Beloved! Can you believe it? a previous post (with additional links) exploring both Scripture and what Henri Nouwen learned while listening for the still small voice.

Wind Chimes: 11 Feb 2013

Cloud_touching_the_tip_of_the_mountainx640

How often the chimes sing out, “Listen, listen, listen.” What do you hear?

Listen: a theme of the week

Last week I shared the opening words of The Rule of St Benedict, “Listen carefully, …” Through his words and the example of Anne Hutchinson we were invited to listen. This Sunday (2/10/2013) we heard the account of the Transfiguration as shared by Luke. The voice from the cloud picked up the theme of the previous week and sets on a course for this week:

Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”

Luke 9:35 NRSV

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Let us practice listening to the Chosen One this week.

Image: Veera.sj on WikimediaCommons

Wind Chimes: 9 Feb 2013

Jimmy Carter at Mercer University, November 2012

Grace is freely given. Grace sings of expansive love. Grace sings of inclusive love. The chimes are singing of Grace today. What do you hear?

Anne Hutchinson would have liked Jimmy Carter

We’ll walk one more day with Anne Hutchinson. See the Wind Chimes for February 7 and February 8, 2013. Anne was at odds with the male leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  She courageously was true to her heart. Though she spoke well and presented a well-reasoned description of what she believed, in 1638 Anne Hutchinson was both excommunicated and banished from the Colony. Nearly 400 years later, in 2000, Jimmy Carter parted ways with the Southern Baptist Convention. I believe Anne would have liked Jimmy Carter.

As the US Congress once again decides whether (and how) to renew the Violence Against Women Act Anne’s witness and Jimmy Carter’s words and witness are reminders of a foundational Christian belief (shared by other world religions as well): “God saw that [all of creation and every part of creation and all that was and would be created by God] was very good.”

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views. —Jimmy Carter

Source: Losing my religion for equality, The Age, July 15, 2009.

Image: Woody Marshall for The Telegraph, November 2012

Wind Chimes: 8 Feb 2013

“Listen carefully to my instructions …
With the good gifts which are in us,
we must obey God.”

From the Prologue in the Rule of St. Benedict and quoted in The Monastery of the Heart:
An Invitation to a Meaningful Life
(p. 3) by Joan Chittister

The chimes invite us to listen today. Pause and listen. What do you hear?

Walking another day with Anne Hutchinson

As I do understand it, laws, commands, rules and edicts are for those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway. He who has God’s grace in his heart cannot go astray.

Anne Hutchinson as quoted in Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers (1907) by Elbert Hubbard (“Anne Hutchinson” on Wikiquote)

Anne Hutchinson on TrialAs shared yesterday: on February 6, 2013, in the “Spiritual Day Hike” (which wanders far and wide in the world without actually leaving St. Margaret’s in Palm Desert, CA) we walked with Anne Hutchinson for a time. Anne is now remembered by The Episcopal Church annually on February 5th.

Born and raised in the faith of the Church of England Anne accepted the teachings of the Puritans and added her own touch.

As you read the excerpt from the Prologue in the Rule of St. Benedict you can easily understand that Anne would have been right at home in the Rule of St. Benedict. Her ‘touch’ added to her Puritan faith was to listen with the “ear of her heart” for the voice and the wisdom of God.

Confident that God was constantly in dialogue with her, confident that she could hear and understand God within her own heart, Anne chose to follow the One who called to her, spoke to her, and led her in Love. She continues to offer her witness to us—listen, listen carefully, trust what you hear in your heart: “You are my beloved child. Always. Everywhere. In every circumstance. Beloved.”

Anne has left quite a legacy. Allow yourself to be amazed by her courage and her confidence in God as you read her story:

Image: Wikimedia Commons and JSS Gallery

Wind Chimes: 7 Feb 2013

You must be holy in every aspect of your lives,
just as the one who called you is holy.
It is written, “You will be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:15-16 which quotes Leviticus 19:2 CEB

The chimes seem to be sounding a song of joy and freedom. What do you hear?

The grace of God

As I do understand it, laws, commands, rules and edicts are for those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway. He who has God’s grace in his heart cannot go astray.

Anne Hutchinson as quoted in Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers (1907) by Elbert Hubbard (“Anne Hutchinson” on Wikiquote)

Anne Hutchinson on TrialIn the “Spiritual Day Hike” (which wanders far and wide in the world without actually leaving St. Margaret’s in Palm Desert, CA) on February 6, 2013 we walked with Anne Hutchinson for a time. Anne is now remembered by The Episcopal Church annually on February 5th.

Some 450 years after her death she continues to have a profound impact on us as we listen for the Spirit within our hearts. Our group, as we walked with Anne, was affirmed in actively forming and following a conscience illumined by the light of Christ and emboldened by the Holy Spirit. Anne has left quite a legacy. Allow yourself to be amazed by her courage and her confidence in God as you read her story:

Image: Wikimedia Commons and JSS Gallery

Wind Chimes: 2 Feb 2013

Justin Welby in Prayer
Bishop Welby is joined by his wife, Caroline, as members of the Vineyard movement ‘lay hands’ on them as they prepare to move to Lambeth Palace. Photo: Trent Vineyard

The wind picks up. There is change in the air. What do you hear?

The (almost) new Archbishop of Canterbury

This Monday, February 4, 2013, Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, will become the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury in a ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. In January, speaking to an audience at Trent Vineyard near Nottingham, Bishop Welby said,

Quote . . .I think we are in the greatest moment of opportunity for the Church since the Second World War, … In 2008 we had the most significant financial collapse in this country, in terms of the banking system, since the mid-19th century. One of the reasons the recession has been so deep and may be going into a triple dip is because there has been such a loss of confidence. … But the side effect of that has been that the state has run out of the capacity to do the things it had taken over since 1945. All the idols on which our society was based have fallen, they have been toppled. They have been toppled by the financial crisis, by scandal. Trust has broken down.

As reported in The Telegraph, 1 Jan 2013: The Church must fill void left by failing state, says new archbishop Justin Welby

Please keep Justin Welby and the entire Anglican Communion in your prayers.

More information about the (almost) new Archbishop of Canterbury

Image: The Telegraph

Easter 5A: A follower of the Way

Jesus said, “you know the way to the place where I am going”

Thomas replied, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

Jesus said “I am the way….”

We know where we are going: into the reign of God. We know the way. With a lot of patience and steadfast diligence, with a little humor and an unwavering focus, we are followers of the Way (one of the earliest descriptions of “Christians” see Acts 9:2). So what does that mean?

As the week ends try finishing this sentence 5 times “As a follower of the Way I . . . .”