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, June 21, 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 said to his disciples: "Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
"When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."
– Matthew 6.1-6/6-18
H O M I L Y
Something unique to Jesus as a teacher is the absence of detailed spiritual practice. We see very little of his own spiritual practice, other than that of withdrawing to lonely places and praying. This passage of Scripture comes out of Jesus’ secrecy: be intimate with God. If I study facts or beliefs and form opinions about a person without spending an abundant amount of time with them myself, our relationship would be hollow. They would not know me. And I would not know intimacy with them. My studies of God may help me to live differently and gain insights, but it would not be the same as loving God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind. Let’s be hidden with our God who is hidden. It is the path of Christ.
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