Wednesday mornings we're inviting people to meet with us at Taborspace in SE Portland at 7am, but we're also welcoming individuals to take part remotely. Tuesday evenings, the plans for Wednesday mornings will be posted here. We believe that life is better together, however we can make that happen. Please consider making this a regular part of your weekly practice.
We know that it is tough to find communities centered on Contemplative Christianity and hope this serves as a support for individuals who don't feel like they fit inside or outside of the church, but still haven't given up their seeking and knocking.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
R E A D - Without bias, assumption, or expectation; fully and simply listen, with your mind and heart; read through the passage at least twice
R E F L E C T - Is there a phrase, word, or impression that stands out to you? (Refrain from overanalyzing; keep it simple)
R E S P O N D - Allow God’s inspiration to emerge as a brief prayer, even just one word (Again, keeping it simple, remaining centered on Christ rather than on your communication to Him)
R E S T - Simply be with God. Spend a few minutes practicing being as present to God as God is to you. Silently. Humbly. Lovingly.
When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
– Jesus, Matthew 13.19-23
H O M I L Y
In this parable, Jesus characterizes God’s wild behavior of giving. There seems to be very little concern for where the seed is thrown, as well as, little judgement for the quality or condition of the soil. God is humble and generous. But who are we? Are we receptive? Or are we stuck in confusion, given to shallowness, or submitted to worry?
What kind of soil do you find in your heart today? What steps can you take toward being tender and receptive?
Sow righteousness for yourselves,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
and showers his righteousness on you.
– Hosea 10.12
Take 20 minutes to sit attentively in silence. Make space for your mind to slow and be still. If thoughts grab for your attention, use a passage, prayer, phrase, or word to bring a focus and allow those distractions to pass without passing judgement on them or yourself. This time of “effortlessness,” which can feel like requires a lot of effort, is an act of trust in God that is engaging our whole heart, soul, mind, body, and strength. Simply aim to be as present to God as God is present to you and trust that that is more than enough.
When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. … And when you pray, do not keep on babbling …
– Jesus, Matthew 6:6-8
Pray without ceasing.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:17
C L O S I N G P R A Y E R
Oh my God,
I want to love You;
Not that I might gain eternal heaven,
Nor escape eternal hell, but Lord,
To love You just because
You are my God.
Grant me to give to You
And not to count the cost;
To fight for You
And not to mind the wounds;
To labor and expect nothing in return,
Except for the knowledge that I serve my God.
– St Ignatius of Loyola