” . . . the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought . . .” ~ Romans 8:26 Ps 105 • Genesis 29:15-28 • Romans 8:26-39 • Matthew 13:31-52 Some people find prayer difficult. For some, prayer comes easy on one day, and not at all on the next. This…Details
Over his head, they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” – Mt. 27:37 Ps 118:1-29 • Mat 21:1-11 ~ Liturgy of the Palms Ps 31:9-16 • Isa 50:4-9 • Phi 2:5-11 • Mat 27:11-54 ~ Liturgy of the Passion Tis the season for long lectionary readings! This…Details
“Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.” Psalm 130 • Ezekiel 37:1-14 • Romans 8:6-11 • John 11:1-45 We are deep into Lent. This is the season when we walk in the dark, journeying with Christ toward his crucifixion. This week’s Scriptures give us a…Details
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. – John 3:16 Psalm 121 • Genesis 12:1-4 • Romans 4:1-17 • John 3:1-17 Two of the most repeated phrases from the New Testament are present in this…Details
“They will make war with the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer” – Revelation 17:14 Psalm 40:1-11 • Isaiah 49:1-7 • I Corinthians 1:1-9 • John 1:29-42 A conquering lamb? It is just like God to bring victory through a symbol of sacrifice, to make all things new with things that are soiled, to redeem his…Details
Lent ~ Week 2: Psalm 27 • Genesis 15:1-18 • Philippians 3:17-4:1 • Luke 13:31-55 Lent is a season where we learn to bear the burdens of reality. We all are tempted to ignore the difficulties of life. Whether it is health, or finances, or family issues, or doubts about what God is doing with our…Details
Readings for this week: Psalm 23 • Psalm 89:20-37 • II Samuel 7:1-14 • Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 Psalm 23 is frequently prayed at funerals. In fact, I’ve not heard it prayed or read much during weekly worship. Perhaps it is purposely saved for those more severe experiences such as death or extreme illness. This is…Details
Readings for the Week: Psalm 30 and 130 • II Samuel 1:1, 17-27 • Lamentations 3:22-33 • II Corinthians 8:7-15 • Mark 5:21-43 Last week was the first time in a long time that I did not post the readings for the upcoming week. These readings are drawn from the lectionary (Revised Common Lectionary) and are the texts that we read during our worship…Details
“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 PrayerDetails
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…Details