Last day, Condemnation, Eternal Life, and Fear. - Wednesday Silent Prayer & Meditation
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 10, 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.
Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believer not only in me, but also in the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me."
– Jesus, John 12.44-50
H O M I L Y
Last day, condemnation, and eternal life. These are all terms that have morphed into an entirely different meaning than to how they sounded to those who heard Jesus speaking. Today, these words sound like Greek Mythology and nonsensical. But that does not mean that that is what they are. If we only hear from within our own contexts, circumstances, and level of understanding, we will only ever hear at our own level of consciousness. We will not be capable of hearing Christ. We will be stuck hearing an idolized version of ourselves being projected onto Jesus.
May we remove the filter of fear from the words of Christ and listen fully to the Word of Love only. “Don’t be afraid,” Jesus said. When we remove fear, if we are not faithful, we can often remove the message too. Don’t be afraid to read, listen, hear, and respond. If fear, the opposite of love and God, is removed, what then do you hear? This is a lifelong practice.
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