Growing as Disciples: Worship

Listen:  Hearing that still, small voice and finding your own.

Have you ever misplaced your phone–which is on vibrate of course–and then asked someone to call it? We get really still and really quiet. Our

ears perk up in all directions in order to be ready to hear that little buzz. It is a quieting down and high alert all at the same time. This Lent we will quiet things down and heighten our attention to the “still, small voice” of God and our own True Self. Listening through prayer as well as meditation on holy texts is an ancient Lenten practice. Come and rest, come and listen.

3/4/18         Finding a Word: Listening to the Texts

 “Wisdom shouts in the street; in the public square she raises her voice. ..Look, I’ll pour out my spirit on you. I’ll reveal my words to you.” – Proverbs 1: 20-23

“After Jesus was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered what he had said, and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.”  John 2:22

The Wisdom tradition within Christianity invites us to love knowledge, especially the self-knowledge that comes from examining ourselves in relationship to the liberating Word of God.   Lectio divina (“divine reading”) is an ancient tradition of mixing the reading of scripture with prayer and meditation. Rather than an analytical approach to the words of scripture, it is a way for the words to simply be present and live in us. What will we hear when we let go of what it all is “supposed to” mean and simply let it reside within us?

3/11/18       Finding Your Power: Listening for Healing

 “… She was thinking, If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll be healed.” – Mark 5:24-34    “You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith.” Ephesians 2:1-10

Prayer as a spiritual practice may come easily for you and maybe it doesn’t. Even the most devout among us has doubts about prayer’s power at times. What is it? How does it work? This week we will consider that the mechanics of what happens in prayer is not as important as that we do it. Because whether or not the outcome for ourselves or others is an actual healing, the very act of being entangled with God and with others through prayer has healing and power-bestowing benefits.

3/18/18  Finding Your Mystic: Listening Beyond the Voices

Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world ,but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature…- Romans 12: 2-12

“Then a voice came from heaven…the crowd standing there heard and said, ‘Its thunder.’ Others aid, “an angel spoke to him.”  John 12:22

We often have a “cast of characters” living inside our heads that love to carry on endless conversations–each from their own perspective. The chatter of our minds can sometimes keep us from a deeper listening and it is often difficult to decipher exactly what constitutes a mystical connection to God. Getting our True Self into the chairperson’s seat in the committee meeting does not mean ignoring those voices of pessimism, people-pleasing or accusation, but instead listening intently to them and not letting them bully us into action based on fear. Letting them in and letting them go is the prayer of the mystic within.

3/25/18       Palm – Passion Sunday                                               Finding Your Purpose: Listening to Your Heart

“Then Jesus …prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” – Matthew 26: 36-46

“Jesus prayed that, if possible, he might be spared the time of suffering… Take this cup of suffering away from me.  However, not what I want but what you want.”  Mark 14:32-36

Jesus’ prayer life was described most often in the scriptures as something he did “away” from the crowds or disciples. And as we come to the last week of this Lent journey, we have experienced the blessings of turning away from the noise of the world in order to turn inward to hear that “still small voice” of God and finding our own voice of wisdom there as well. This Sunday begins the story of the end of Jesus’ human life and the scripture contains one of the rare examples of how Jesus prayed. It was honest, it was gut-wrenching, and it finally was a letting-go of expectations about life and a turn toward the acceptance that gives the courage to move onward.

3/29/18       Holy Thursday                                                     Finding Jesus: Listening to Your Inner Jerusalem

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  Psalm 22

Come, journey with Jesus…