Sometimes, life gets in the way of spiritual practices. Things like school, work, parenting, and sometimes unexpected things like colds. So, what comes first? Spiritual practice or sleep? Every once in awhile, it does not seem to be our choice. After sleeping through Lectio Divina (twice), I am calling “sleep” my spiritual practice today.
If you had one wish, what would it be?
Lectionary for July 15, 2012 – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
I had quite a few questions I read this text for the week.
Why does Mark interrupt the story of Jesus sending the apostles out to tell us about the death of John?
Why did the daughter listen to Herodias?
What is Herod really afraid of?
This particular verse leads me to look within myself: “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” What would I wish for? What would you wish for? Offered almost anything the nameless girl seeks the council of family and ends up with John the Baptists head. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would end up with someone’s head.
Take a moment to answer these three questions:
First question: what is your wish?
Second question: try to remember your thoughts over the last week or two. If your wish was built only from the thoughts you’ve had…what would the resulting wish be?
Are your thoughts dominated by money or stuff? Would this wish be an endless supply of cash?
Do you spend your time in bitterness, angry with someone that betrayed you? Would this wish be someone’s head on a platter?
Do you spend your time in gratitude and thanksgiving? Would this wish be for other’s joy and happiness?
Third question: do your answers match?
May God’s light lead you way today and every day. Peace and Blessings to you.
For the last week and a half, my life has consisted of planned…controlled…maddening…CHAOS. First, we planned and prepared Christmas dinner for fourteen people. Dinner was amazing and wonderful, even if my house only holds six or seven people at one time. We somehow made it work. Christmas Day was chaos but it held a Love that embraced us all.
A short twelve hours later the Christmas tree was down, decorations were stored for the year and we were ripping the carpet out of our living room. A different kind of chaos maybe…but chaos non-the-less! After spending most of the week creating a level surface, we finally laid our new flooring. Our new living room floor is flat, clean, new and beautiful. We still have chaos, little things that need to be done (like baseboards and bringing the furniture back in) but I am thankful that most of the dust is gone.
I would guess that my life over the past week had quite a bit of influence on how I read the lectionary text because chaos jumped off the page with every word. Genesis 1:1-5, the beginning. Chaos reigned; there was darkness, void, water…CHAOS. Then God brought light. Psalm 29 is a song that speaks of God’s power to create chaos. The wilderness shakes, the voice of God flashes forth flames of fire, God makes the oaks swirl and strips the forest bare. (We had a tree fall on our house last year during an intense windstorm, when the bible tells me that the LORD “strips the forest bare”, I can almost taste the chaos!) The next reading, Acts 19:1-7, Paul asks the people of Ephesus if they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, which sounds a bit like “was their chaos at your baptism?” Paul lays his hands on them and “they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” This scene is almost as chaotic as 14 people packed like sardines into my little living room! Finally in Mark 1:4-11 “[Jesus] saw the heavens torn apart.” More chaos!
Occasionally a theme shines through the lectionary texts. This week the theme could be the Breath of God, the coming of the Holy Spirit, or maybe the power that the people feel when they encounter God…but with a chaotic Christmas Dinner and the absences of a living room floor in my recent past, I see chaos in these texts. A God that comes into our lives and brings light into the chaos (Genesis 1:1-5), a word so powerful it frees the forest of its leaves (Psalm 29), a God not bound by language (Acts 19:1-7) and tears the heavens apart to acknowledge Christ (Mark 1:1-11). Our God is a God that is not afraid of chaos.
Chaos on the web:
What I learned and what’s coming up…
Week 1 of Lectionary blogging down! I enjoyed it. Although I know I spent more time on it than I will normally have once school starts again. I did learn a bit, for instance…I need a Twitter style introduction. I didn’t even think about that as I wrote in my blog last week. It looks very odd on the front page if I forget a clear introduction. Also, as I work on the blog I hope to get a bit better at being a concise and clear writer. I rambled more than I like to (ya…I realize I am rambling now!)
Lectionary Text for Christmas Day
There are moments that I have asked myself “Why am I doing this?” Then there are those moments that I get a bit of a shock and know that blogging can’t hurt. This morning when I opened up the Revised Common Lectionary for this week was one of those “um” moments! Instead of 4 verses to choose from this week, the website greeted me with a 5×6 table of verses to choose from! Well, the first column includes descriptions and the last row is “Not observed this year” (HUH???). Technically that leaves 24 verses to choose from. But wait, the last 3 of those rows are for January 1st, so I am down to 12 verses to choose from…still quite a few. What if I was sitting down to write my first sermon and discovered this? I would be very lost and probably a bit confused. Since I have discovered this randomness that is the Revised Common Lectionary, I will be taking a least a day or two to figure out what in the world these are: Nativity of the Lord – Proper I, Nativity of the Lord Proper II, and Nativity of the Lord – Proper III. I will decide on a verse at some point this week but it might just be later (or it’s Christmas week and I might have to skip a day or two!!)
I’ve been sitting around for a couple of years waiting for some amazing blog idea to hit me. One that makes it very easy to blog, with very little effort or thought put into it. Ya, I live on a different planet sometimes. I’m trying to convince myself that the only way to begin a blog is to well…start blogging. So, here we go, journeying through the beginning steps, the failures, the successes, and one day…my first reader. (If, of course I ever actually make this thing public!)
I don’t have anything to write about but one day I will…one day, I will sit down with the Bible, look at the lectionary text, pick a passage for the week…pray, listen, learn, and eventually write that amazing sermon, one day I will do all of those things.
Well, I am not big on “one day, when all the stars line up and I have arrived.” So, today I start. I will look at the text, study it, and then blog about it. That simple. I’m not going to preach…yet. Just write about what I find. It will be interesting to look back one day to see where this journey takes me.
This weeks lectionary text from The Revised Common Lectionary:
READINGS FOR THE COMING WEEK
Fourth Sunday of Advent (December 18, 2011)
- First reading
- Luke 1:46b-55 or Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26
- Second reading
Today, I will read the texts and pick one to study for the week…here I go!