Wind Chimes: 19 Feb 2013

On Sunday (2/17/13) we heard about the Temptation of Jesus. Periodically that same tune plays through the chimes we hear. What does such a tune stir up in you?

Temptation. A reflection by Pastor Steve.

In our Sunday handout I included this meditation. For those of you not able to be around the table in real life (= irl), I share the beginning of Steve’s meditation here:

Dear Gentle God,

I am not tempted to turn flint into rye, to be able to fly—or even drift nicely—or to bow down to some guy in a red suit and a tail so the kingdoms of the world worship me. Jesus knew he couldn’t do magic, defy gravity or make people like him. But I do want to have power and to be in control of my life, to avoid suffering or struggle, and to manage what other people think of me. I am tempted to make of things something that they aren’t. I’m tempted to take the comfortable route. I’m tempted to expect that you should protect me from difficulty. And I really want to make people like me.

In this sere land of desire, God, rip these idols from my hands.

You’ll want to read the rest; you can find the complete meditation here: Temptation by Steve Garnaas-Holmes, February 15, 2013, on his blog, Unfolding Light.

Image: Leo za1 on Wikimedia Commons

Wind Chimes: 23 Nov 2012

A lake reflection

[Hannah] was deeply distressed
and prayed to the Lord,
and wept bitterly.

Hannah was praying silently;
only her lips moved,
but her voice was not heard

1 Samuel 1:10, 13 NRSV

Like a prayer, again, the wind sounds the chimes. What do you hear?

Prayer as a quest

The purpose of prayer is not prayer. The purpose of prayer is to come to love God as much as possible with all the insights into the nature and presence of God this world allows. […] in prayer we are seeking the God who is seeking us. … Prayer is the process of learning to listen.

“So What is the Prayer Life?” in Ideas in Passing by Joan Chittister (05/16/2011) excerpted from The Breath of the Soul: Reflections on Prayer by Joan Chittister (Twenty-Third Publications)

Prayer, like breathing …

Prayer is more like breathing. At times we may be especially conscious of it.…But breathing is never just one more task on our list of things to do. It is essential to life; without it we die. Prayer, like breathing, is essential to our life in God. Without it, our spiritual lives cannot be sustained.

From “Prayer” on Brother Give Us a Word a daily meditation of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE).

Be still

God says, “Be still and know that I am God.
I will be praised in all the nations;
I will be praised throughout the earth.”

Psalm 46:10 (New Century Version)

Photo: by Wing-Chi Poon on Wikimedia Commons

Wind Chimes: 8 Nov 2012

Sunrise in New Zealand

weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning

Psalm 30:5

There is a dynamism in the chimes, can you hear it? Stillness and silence giving way to movement and sound and …. What do you hear?

A brief reflection on Ruth

In the story of Ruth I find a marvelous, mysterious, messy and invigorating dynamic of scarcity and abundance, barenness and fecundity, death and life, playing-it-safe and taking-risks, self-giving and self-satisfaction, despair and hope, death and life. Read it with an eye to these dynamics, listen to the story for the truths it has to teach for living in 21st century America. Please share with me (and others) what you hear. ~dan

A report: Justin Welby to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury

“Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham, has accepted the post of Archbishop of Canterbury, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.” The Telegraph article dated 7 Nov 2012

There has been no official announcement of this appointment (7am PST on 11/8/12), but follow up articles suggest The Telegraph is confident of their report. ~dan

Hope of the dawn

Hope of the dawn.
Joy of the day
Peace of the night
Renew us we pray.

Theresa Mary Grass in Pocket Prayers and shared in a Spirituality & Practice email dated 14 May 2012

Photo: Moriori on Wikimedia Commons ~dan

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