Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Click on the arrow below each title to hear each element of Morning Prayer separately. At the bottom of the page, there is a link to hear the Office in it’s entirety.
Confession and Absolution
Psalter and Lectionary Reading
Romans 4:13 – end
Luke 10:38 – end
Inspirational Thought or Remembrance
See BREATHING IN below
Prayers of Intercession
Prayers for the Day and the Lord’s Prayer – Benediction
Entire Office of Morning Prayer
Breathing In for May 24th
Richard Rohr, Radical Grace – A Christian home is one with the doors open, and a Christian community of any form has doors open and swinging both ways. There’s life moving in and life moving out. I could summarize Jesus’ most radical teaching as a call to ‘universal table fellowship’ (see with whom he eats, whom he invites to the banquet, and then you will know why they killed him!). Don’t tell people to come to our church or to come hear [Father] (sic) preach. Ask them to come over for supper. That’s more real and natural . Talk to them over the back fence. We hope our life is good news. When our neighbors see our unity and our good news, maybe then they’ll say, I’d like to come celebrate and worship with you. (235-6)
Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey – Whenever we come together around the table, take bread, bless it, break it, and give it to one another, saying, “The Body of Christ,” we know that Jesus is among us. He is among us not as a vague memory of a person who lived long ago but as a real, life-giving presence that transforms us. By eating the Body of Christ, we become the living Christ and we are enabled to discover our own chosenness and blessedness, acknowledge our brokenness and trust that all we live we live for others. Thus, we, like Jesus himself, become food for the world. (July 17)
Kelli: Nouwen is writing here about Holy Communion but it is paradigm shifting to apply these words to anytime we sit down at the table to eat a meal. We save the holiness of Communion for the first Sunday of the month (in the United Methodist Church anyway), when God is calling us to realize that every meal is a chance to recognize Christ in the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:31). Had as it may be in our fast-paced, over-scheduled world, a movement back to sitting down at the table together to eat, might be the one small shift that changes us all for the better. When Nouwen talks about us becoming the living Christ, I am reminded of how Mike Breen interprets this: Who would Jesus be if he were you? What would Jesus do if he were you? Instead of fruitlessly striving for the perfection of Jesus, we can fruitfully live our lives as Jesus would live them.
Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way Every Day – “Charity begins at home” is not a bromide. It is a direction. It means start with being nice to yourself, your authentic self, then try being nice to everyone else. When we place ourselves too low in the pecking order, we feel hen-pecked, and yes, we feel peckish. We neglect our work or do it distractedly. When we undervalue ourselves, we literally bury ourselves in lives not our own. Meeting the expectations of others, we may misplace our own values. Violating our true selves, we soon feel worthless and undeserving. As an artist, being nice is not nearly as important as being authentic. When we are what we truly are and say what we truly mean, we stop shouldering the responsibility for everyone else’s shortfalls and become accountable to ourselves. When we do, astonishing shifts occur. We become aligned with our true higher power, and creative grace flows freely. When we stop playing God, God can play though us. (221)
Kelli: One of the failures of the modern church is that we have traded being nice for being real. We have put such value on getting along with everyone so no one will learn that we have missed out on the true joy of the gospel. We have to be honest about how we feel and what we think even if it leads to a conflict of ideas or, heaven forbid, some sort of confrontation. If we are not congruent – what we think and feel is the same inside our heads and in our words and actions, – we will never know the true peace that comes with following Jesus. There’s a reason that Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If we don’t love ourselves authentically, without guilt and shame, and telling the truth about ourselves, we can never learn to love each other. When the church finally gives up on guilt and shame as its primary motivators, and drops the mask of Sunday morning perfection, then we can begin to focus on the good news of lives of connection, commitment and creativity with Holy Love and with each other. This is the focus of my book, Living Into the Mystery. We cannot live lives of communion and hospitality with other people unless we first accept that grace extended to ourselves.