Category Archives: spiritual practices

Lectio Divina

Using the Bible in prayer. An ancient way of finding God’s Word for ourselves in the scriptures today.

via Lectio Divina.

HT http://liturgy.co.nz

 

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Fantasising about being unfaithful

Thoughtful post about why busy people may be part of a local church.

Fantasising about being unfaithful.

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No other name…but other sheep (Easter 4, Year B, 29 April 2012)

Readings
Acts 4.5-12
1 John 3.16-24
John 10.11-18 

I was sitting in my office one day. Not here, it was a few years back when I was head of the Pastoral Care Department of The Wesley Hospital. I’d just picked up the phone. There was a very angry woman on the other end, who was a member of the Uniting Church.

Let me start at the beginning. The chapel at ‘the Wes’ is open 24/7. As you’d expect—people want to come in and pray in a hospital chapel at all sorts of times. Sometimes, staff came in to pray too. There were a couple of staff members who at that time were coming daily to pray.

One had been coming for some time; she was almost part of the furniture. The more recent ‘pray-er’ was a student in the hospital. Like the first, she’d come in around mid-morning to pray. Unlike the first, she’d unfold her prayer mat, kneel and bow low to the ground. You see, unlike the first, she was a Muslim.

Sometimes, the two women would be in the chapel at the same time, the Christian and the Muslim each at prayer in their own way. The angry woman who rang me thought we were setting a very bad example to ‘young people’ by allowing this student to use the chapel to pray her Muslim prayers. She wanted to know why we hadn’t forbidden her.

I told her we were showing hospitality to a stranger in our land. That’s quite a biblical value, by the way, and to her credit she realised straight away that it was. She didn’t give up her objections, but she did eventually run out of steam.

What do you think our responsibility was in this situation? Especially in the light of Peter’s confession of faith to the leaders of his people:

There is salvation in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.

If there is ‘no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved’, should we have done something different? Should we have offered her another space to pray? Should we have told her that Jesus is the Saviour of the world? I’m comfortable with what we did, though I do understand that for some people it’s not clear that we were right.

‘There is salvation in no one else…’ What does that mean?

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Ash Wednesday (22 February 2012)

I’ve decided no sermon tonight at our Ash Wednesday service…I’ve found something that can say it better. Or somethings

Check out

Proost

Rachel Held Evans

Ash Wednesday and Lent in two minutes

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Wait for the Lord (Ordinary Time 5/Epiphany 5, Year B, 5 February 2011)

Wait for the Lord

Readings
Isaiah 40.21-31
Psalm 147.1-11, 20c
Mark 1.29-39

Where is God?

Someone in India once asked a group of Hindu children, ‘Where is God?’. These Hindu children pointed to their hearts. That person later asked the same question of group of Indian Christian children. ‘Where is God?’ They pointed upward, to the sky. Where is God? Within us, or in heaven? Which group was nearer the truth?

Let’s see what Isaiah says.

Haven’t you known this? he says. Haven’t you got it yet?

It is God who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers…

Sounds like the Christian children were right according to Isaiah. God sits high above the circle of the earth. Isaiah does mean a circle and not a sphere; we should think of the world like a pizza with a dome over it. And Isaiah pictures God, sitting, on his mighty throne, over this world. When God looks down, he sees us—but we’re like grasshoppers moving around.

Does God care?

Perhaps not. After all, God says

To whom then will you compare me,
or who is my equal? says the Holy One.

What can we compare with God? Nothing. Every picture we have falls short. God is Father—but not like any father we’ve ever come across. God is judge—but God’s judgement is unlike anything you’d ever get in the Queensland Supreme Court. God is Lord—but not the kind of lord we’re used to.

God is more than all this. God is greater. God is so great we can’t grasp more than a tiny piece of God. Not even that, if the truth be known.

To whom then will you compare me,
or who is my equal? says the Holy One.

Erm, no one really, God…

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Waiting, hoping, looking (First Sunday of Christmas, Year B, 1 January 2012)

Waiting, hoping, looking

Readings
Galatians 4.4-7
Luke 2.22-40

It must have been an ordinary enough scene. A young couple come to the temple in Jerusalem, forty days after the birth of her firstborn son. They were obviously a devout couple, a couple who obeyed the Law of Moses, which said:

Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord.

They’d been taught that since the time of the first Passover, the firstborn son had belonged to the Lord; they were required to offer sacrifice to redeem their son, to buy him back, from the Lord.

But this particular man and woman were also quite poor. If they could afford it, they would bring a lamb and a pigeon or turtledove to the temple. But those who couldn’t afford a lamb were allowed to bring two birds. Mary and Joseph brought two birds.

An observer would have only seen an observant couple, a poor couple, doing the right thing.

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“Christianity for Lent”

I’ve come across a blog written by a former Christian who has given up apostasy for Lent. He is trying to practise the Christian faith, but as one who no longer believes. It is an enlightening read. Take a look and follow it here.

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