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, May 17, 2017
S A C R E D R E A D I N G
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? Sit with it for a minute (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.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts away every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit. But he trims clean every branch that does produce fruit, so that it will produce even more fruit. You are already clean because of what I have said to you.
Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me. If you don’t stay joined to me, you will be thrown away. You will be like dry branches that are gathered up and burned in a fire.
Stay joined to me and let my teachings become part of you. Then you can pray for whatever you want, and your prayer will be answered. When you become fruitful disciples of mine, my Father will be honored.
– Jesus, John 15.1-8
H O M I L Y
The message of being joined to Christ cannot be emphasized enough here, but as often is the case with Jesus, we are given very little practical insight into the how: How do we stay joined to Christ? Maybe it is enough for us to just continuously ask that very question of ourselves throughout every day. Perhaps, if Jesus had given us practical steps we would have obsessed and idolized those practices rather than lived in abiding connection with God. A static god would be accessible through impersonalized and static practices, but God is not only alive, God is Life! So the practice of God’s presence and being joined with Christ will only be enjoyed with our own lives, fully engaged with our whole hearts, minds, souls, bodies, and strength. May be continuously ask ourselves throughout today: How can I be joined to Christ now and here?
S I L E N T P R A Y E R
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
T W E N T Y M I N U T E S O F S I L E N T P R A Y E R
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