Friday, March 30, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
When the Stranger says:"What is the meaning of this city?"Do you huddle close together because you love each other?What will you answer? "We all dwell togetherto make money from each other"? or "This is community"?O my soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger,Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions.O weariness of those who turn from GodTo the grandeur of your mind and the glory of your actionTo arts and inventions and daring enterprises,To schemes of human greatness thoroughly discredited,Binding the earth and the water to your service,Exploiting the seas and developing the mountains,Dividing the stars into common and preferred,Engaged in developing the perfect refrigerator,Engaged in working out a rational morality,Engaged in printing as many books as possible,Plotting of happiness and flinging empty bottles,Turning from your vacancy to fevered enthusiasmFor nation or race or what you call humanity;Though you forget your way to the Temple,There is one who remembers the way to your door:Life you may evade, but Death you shall not.You shall not deny the Stranger.
As we approach the Cross, let us pray for our own redemption, the conversion of our hearts and lives.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important -- wonderful. If you want to be recognized -- wonderful. If you want to be great -- wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's your new definition of greatness. And this morning, the thing that I like about it ... by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great. Because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Eintein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermo-dynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to the Lord a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
For the word of the LORD is right and true; God is faithful in all God does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of God’s unfailing love.
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of God’s mouth. God gathers the waters of the sea into jars and puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere the Lord. For God spoke, and it came to be; God commanded, and it stood firm.
The LORD foils the plans of the nations; God thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of God’s heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people chosen for God’s inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from God’s dwelling place God watches all who live on earth -- God who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear God, on those whose hope is in God’s unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the LORD; God is our help and our shield. In the Lord our hearts rejoice, for we trust in God’s holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me. (Psalm 13)
Teresa of Avila, the 16th century mystic, wrote, "How is it that, when there is so little time to enjoy your presence, you hide from me?" She meant that earthly life is short, and so every living momnet with God is precious. But reading her question now, I can't help but think about our busy schedules, and how everything we do requires use of our minds. Even our leisure time is spent trying to "fill time", as if time were an enemy to be conquered.
But openness to God requires an uncluttered mind -- a mind that has some space to receive God. Even a moment here and there that is not addled by the crush of doing is a space for God to enter. But while we are "wrestling with our thoughts", God hides.
During this time of attention and assessment, set aside some uncluttered time for God. Sit still, even for a few minutes. Take a walk (which is good for your body as well as your soul). Have a bath instead of a shower. Let God appear from out of the absence, and give light to your eyes.
Unhide yourself, O God, from behind the obstructions of my thoughts. There is so little time, in life and in my day, to enjoy your presence: I cannot risk losing a moment of it. Come out where I can see you; let me heart serenade you. And give your light to my day, that each moment and morsel might shine in your glory. Amen.