My better half gave me this book for Christmas a few years back –
Working through it for a year was a profound experience for me. It introduced me to new perspectives on community, compassion, even church history. It’s where I first encountered the “become all flame” quote from the writings of the Desert Fathers; in that sense, it inspired this very blog (though I didn’t know it then).
I particularly like this prayer from the daily Morning Prayer devotion. It sparks my imagination of what family or community could be – a daily “sending off” with blessing and the longing to be together again, rejoicing in all that God has done.
Is being sent off with such prayer and blessing a part of your experience?
What does this prayer bring up for you, personally?
I encourage you to write out what you are thinking. It makes you pause and opens up space for new, fresh thoughts to spark.
For context, look at the parable of the sower and it’s explanation in Luke 8:4-15.
I say this prayer pretty much every time I read the Bible. Why, especially now that I seem to be able to recite it without even thinking about it? What’s the point?
This prayer, even when I’m in a hurry and hardly think about it, expresses my true desire. This is what I want the reading of scripture to do to me, within me, and through me…even when I’m hurried or distracted or skeptical or depressed. No matter what is going on in me, I want God’s word to have this effect, long-term, in my life.
What is your experience with reading scripture?
If you find it challenging, what sorts of things would help you?
Though I have specifically mentioned scripture, I believe God’s word can be sown in our lives at any moment of any day through the prompting and counsel of the Holy Spirit: how open are we to receiving God’s word in that form and letting it root in our lives and bear fruit?
I see a clear parallel between the thorns in the Luke passage and the ashes in the quote from Thomas Merton in the last post. I think these thorns and ashes, the distractions and anxieties of my life, are what hold me back, choke out the fire of God’s Spirit in me. What is your experience like?
Again, I encourage you to write down your thoughts. Why? It makes space for you to think them, decide if you believe them or not, revise them, and remember them later.