Easter ~ Week 1 Readings and Prayer

Easter Week 1:  Psalm 133 • Acts 4:32-35 • I John 1:1-2:2 • John 20:19-31 Easter has only just begun. Yes, we celebrated Easter Sunday yesterday. This is the day that marks the resurrection of Christ. However, it is the first day of 50 days of celebration. Christ’s resurrection deserves more celebration than one day…

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Holy Week ~ Readings for Good Friday

Good Friday: Psalm 22 • John 18:1-19:42 The Christian faith is filled with irony. The cross, an instrument of torture and execution, is an image of victory. Christ is hailed as  Messiah during his Triumphal Entry only to be shouted at a few days later by some of the same people on his way to crucifixion. God, the almighty maker…

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Holy Week ~ Readings for Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday:  Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 • Exodus 12:1-14  • Corinthians 11:23-26 • Jn 13:1-17, 31-35 Maundy Thursday is so named because of Jesus’ command to his disciples: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Or in Latin: “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi…

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Holy Week ~ Readings for Wednesday

Holy Wednesday : John 13:21-32 • Hebrews 12:1-3 Jesus’ mind was filled with all kinds of fears during those last days before his crucifixion. He could feel the confrontation coming and that his hour was at hand. He recognized that he would be betrayed into the hands of his executioners. This knowledge may have engendered fear but, even more deeply,…

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Holy Week ~ Readings for Tuesday

Holy Tuesday: John 12:20-36 • Isaiah 49:1-7 Christ describes himself as a seed planted in the ground. The seed breaks apart and new life comes from the seed’s death. What Christ does is intimately tied into how he does it. How Christ does what he does is important. What he does is bring new and everlasting life into the world. How he…

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Holy Week ~ Readings for Monday

Lazarus Monday: John 12:1-11 • Isaiah 42:1-9 The Book of Common Prayer provides readings and collects (short, single purpose prayers) for every day during Holy Week. Monday’s readings include a prophetic reference to Jesus’ ministry and an example of Jesus bringing his friend, Lazarus,  back to life. I encourage you to walk through this week with these…

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Lenten Readings for Palm Saturday

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 • Psalm 45 • Mark 11:1-11 • John 12:12-16 Our Christian faith is ironic. Thing about the upside down narratives that run throughout our story: God, almighty and all powerful, calls Israel, a lowly, weak and vulnerable group of ex-slaves, who are as unfaithful as they are chosen. The Creator enters into his creation as an infant completely…

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Prayer for Lent: Pt. 2

CC03 St. Brigids Cross Plaque A-800x800“the health of self-forgetfulness”

Do you remember the poem by Wendell Berry that speaks of the “health of self-forgetfulness?”* It is hard to even consider the concept isn’t it? Self forgetfulness seems impossible. We live in bodies that cry out for food and drink along with all kinds of desire. We grow tired by days end and our bodies and minds cry for rest. How on earth can we forget about ourselves when our very bodies are crying, worn out, hungry and lonely?

Self-forgetfulness is made more difficult through the world of advertising. We are barraged when we turn on the TV or radio, when we look at our laptops or smartphones, and when we drive down the road. Advertisements remind us of what we want more than what we need. They cause us to desire for things we didn’t know we wanted.

So how can we experience the “health of self-forgetfulness” in a world that encourages such self-consciousness and selfishness?

When I answer that question with the word prayer I can’t help but feel trite. But I still think that prayer is the answer.

In Mark 2 we see Jesus getting away to a solitary place in order to pray. Inspired both by this verse and by necessity Christians have learned the practice of getting away in order to pray un-self-consciously. But retreat is not always available in our workaday world.

Fasting is another discipline that assists us in our journey toward self-forgetfulness. Fasting from food or other good things can serve to draw us toward a less self-oriented faith and more mature prayer.

Praying the Daily Office from the Book of Common Prayer

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Praying for Lent: Pt. 1

Lent is not only a time of fasting but it also, and most importantly, a time for prayer. The hunger pangs of lent are there to inspire us toward prayer and repentance. Let me encourage you to think deeply about your prayer life this Lent. How might you invigorate it? Let me suggest two things that…

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