Wind Chimes: 3 Nov 2012

Ruth said [to Naomi], “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!”

Ruth 1:16-17 NRSV

The next two Sundays offer readings from the Book of Ruth. One commentator sets us on a deeper understanding of one of the treasures found in the Book: “Near the end of the book, the Bethlehemite women will articulate to Naomi what has been evident all along, that Ruth’s love is worth more than seven sons. Grace is walking right beside Naomi, unseen, yet refusing to leave her.” Let’s explore “being present.” ~dan

Persistent, pleasant, reminding us of the graces we receive through no effort of our own, the chimes sound. What do you hear?

Being Present

Being present in the spiritual life always has a double meaning. There’s present, as in here, in attendance. And there’s present, as in now, a moment of time. What is the spiritual practice of being present? Being here now.

The world’s religions all recommend living in the moment with full awareness. Zen Buddhism especially is known for its emphasis on “nowness.” Hindu, Taoist, Jewish, Moslem, Christian, and other teachers urge us to make the most of every day as an opportunity that will not come to us again.

Also under the rubric of being present is the traditional spiritual exercise called practicing the presence of God. This means recognizing that God is here now moving through our everyday activities, no matter how trivial they might seem.

Being Present” a spiritual practice on Spirituality & Practice

Nature: ever present

“The last debate of the presidential season belongs to Mother Nature. Uninvited, unmentioned throughout the political debates on this most important of election seasons, Mother Nature, incarnated by Guabancex, Caribbean deity of weather systems, invites herself.” Read more on Indian Country Today Media Network

This understanding of Nature and the Creator is remarkably like the discovery of Job (see God’s ‘speech’ in Job 38 and Job’s response in Job 42). ~dan

ERD: Healing a hurting worldGive to the Hurricane Sandy Response Fund
administered by Episcopal Relief and Development

One great thing about growing old

One great thing about growing old is that nothing is going to lead to anything. Everything is of the moment.

Joseph Campbell in A Joseph Campbell Companion edited by Diane Osbon and quoted on Spirituality & Practice (Quotations for the Spiritual Practice of Being Present)

Commentary by Patricia Tull A.B. Rhodes Professor Emerita of Old Testament Louisville Presbyterian Seminary (Jeffersonville, IN) on WorkingPreacher.org

Photo: By Jkadavoor (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons ~dan

Wind Chimes: 14 Oct 2012

Is it a song of praise on the First Day of the Week? Is it a song of hope? Is it the lament of Job? Where is Grace to be found? Where is God to be found? The Spirit is constantly moving the chimes. What do you hear?

God is nowhere to be found

“If I go forward, he is not there;or backward, I cannot perceive him;on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him;I turn to the right, but I cannot see him.” Job 23:8-9

God is found (as Grace) in such nowhere moments

Quote . . .Grace happens to me when I feel a surge of honest joy that makes me glad to be alive in spite of valid reasons for feeling terrible. Grace happens when I accept my wife’s offer to begin again with me in love after I have hurt her. It happens when I feel powerfully free to follow my own conscience in spite of those who think I am either crazy or wicked. Grace is the gift of feeling sure that our future, even our dying, is going to turn out more splendidly than we dare imagine. Grace is the feeling of hope. — Lewis B. Smedes in How Can It Be All Right When Everything Is All Wrong? 

We think of grace arriving like an ambulance, just-in-time delivery, an invisible divine cavalry cresting a hill of troubles, a bolt of jazz from the glittering horn of the Creator, but maybe it lives in us and is activated by illness of the spirit. Maybe we’re loaded with grace. Maybe we’re stuffed with the stuff. Maybe it’s stitched into our DNA, a fifth ingredient in the deoxyribonucleic acidic soup. — Brian Doyle quoted in The Best Spiritual Writing 2001 edited by Philip Zaleski

Both authors Quoted on Spirituality & Practice

A blessing for the week

“God give you 
an ability
to see good things 
in unexpected places,
talents in unexpected people,
and the grace to tell them so.”

Ray simpson in celtic blessings and quoted by spirituality & practice in an email dated 30 January 2012

Wind Chimes: 26 Sep 2012

God is our refuge and strength,
a help always near in times of great trouble.
That’s why we won’t be afraid
when the world falls apart,
when the mountains crumble
into the center of the sea,
when its waters roar and rage,
when the mountains shake
because of its surging waves.

Psalm 46:1-3 CEB

Here is today’s sampling of the music made by the Spirit in the Wind Chimes. What do you hear?

Fragments of Your Ancient Name

When things do not go as we wish,
When love falls out of our heart,
When death snatches our joy,
When goodbye outweighs hello,
When confusion alters our vision,
When what we knew no longer exists,
You stand by us as our strong support.

Today: I can count on my Supporter. [1]

“Did Jesus have a wife?”

By now you may have seen this headline in some form at least once. Here is a video announcement from Harvard Divinity School and a short interview with the scholar, Karen L. King, who made the announcement of finding the sentence fragment, “Jesus said to them, my wife” on a 4th century fragment of papyrus.

Related articles (and a promise of more links to come)

Like a wildflower

Like a wild flower in God’s care I put my worries away trusting the One who holds me. — Macrina Wiederkehr in The Song of the Seed and quoted by Spirituality & Practice

________________________
[1] Joyce Rupp. Fragments of Your Ancient Name: 365 Glimpses of the Divine for Daily Meditation. (September 24). Kindle Edition.