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Archive for the ‘Mini-Noontime’ Category


Friday, January 22, 2021

images[1]Psalm 119:57-64

Heth

At midnight I rise to praise you . . . The earth, Lord, is filled with your love . . .  

We modern humans tend to believe that wakefulness during the night is a habit we do not want to foster, but our ancestors did not look for a marathon of sleep from bedtime to early morning rising. They would sleep twice in a twelve hour range, rising for a time in the middle of the night before returning to bed for a second period of sleep before morning.

When we find ourselves awake at night for any reason, we might remember our ancestors and turn to scripture and prayer rather than curse our restlessness.

God says: You may call to me at any hour on any day for I am always with you. I rest but I do not sleep. You may sing with me at any hour on any day. I love to hear your voice resonate with mine. You may pray with me at any hour on any day. I am always holding you in my hands and heart.

Rather than curse the darkness of the midnight hour, let us turn to God in prayer. We may find our restlessness melts away and the blessed sleep returns.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16:25).

I waited, waited for the Lord; who bent down and heard my cry, drew me out of the pit of destruction . . . and put a new song in my mouth . . . (Psalm 40:1-4)

Tomorrow, the letter Teth.


For interesting insight into sleep customs old and modern, go to: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2013/08/26/rising-at-midnight-sleep-patterns-and-daily-prayer/

For more information about Midnight Prayer, see the Liturgy of the Hours page on this blog.

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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Psalm 119:49-56Zayin-sd_small[1]

Zayin

This is my comfort in affliction, your promise that gives me life. Your laws become my songs wherever I make my home. Even at night I remember your name . . . This is my good fortune.

The meaning of this letter is complex but the meaning of this stanza is not.

God says: Do you hear my voice blending with yours when you raise your hands and voice to me? Do you trust that I will fulfill the promise I first planted in you? Do you know that I consider you my own? Do you know that you are my good fortune?

We so often see ourselves as separate from God when in truth we live in union with God. In this seventh lesson of Psalm 119 we learn that our trust in God overcomes the arrogant who utterly scorn me, or the rage that seizes me.  When we begin and end each day in God we find comfort in affliction, and God’s song of love in our hearts.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1: 3-4)

Tomorrow, the letter Heth.


To learn more about the Hebrew letter Zayin, click on the word, or go to: http://gnosticteachings.org/courses/alphabet-of-kabbalah/725-zayin.html

 

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Psalm 119:41-48: Waw


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Psalm 119:41-48

3_letters_waw[1]Waw

I lift up my hands to your commands . . .

The early representation of this letter is a character evoking the image of a human raising arms to the heavens.

God says: This is a most basic message in this Psalm of Lessons; yet you forget it so easily. When trouble arises, lift up your pleas to me. When joy overcomes you, lift up your hands to me. In every day in every way, rise up to include me in all you think and say and do. When you persist . . . you will not be disappointed. 

Ancient pictographs show this letter as a tent peg with a branched top that prevents slippage of the rope securing a tent or shelter. When we raise up like these securing pegs to include God as part of all we think and say and do, we secure our own relationship with God.

I wait for you, O Lord; I lift up my soul to my God.  In you I trust; do not let me be disgraced; do not let me enemies gloat over me.  (Psalm 25:1-2)

Today we reflect on the sixth lesson in Psalm 119.  Tomorrow, Zayin.


To learn more about how the Hebrew letter Waw represents connection, click on the word or the image above, or go to: http://www.inner.org/hebleter/vav.htm or http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/3_waw.html 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Psalm 119:41-48

3_letters_waw[1]Waw

I lift up my hands to your commands . . .

The early representation of this letter is a character evoking the image of a human raising arms to the heavens.

God says: This is a most basic message in this Psalm of Lessons; yet you forget it so easily. When trouble arises, lift up your pleas to me. When joy overcomes you, lift up your hands to me. In every day in every way, rise up to include me in all you think and say and do. When you persist . . . you will not be disappointed. 

Ancient pictographs show this letter as a tent peg with a branched top that prevents slippage of the rope securing a tent or shelter. When we raise up like these securing pegs to include God as part of all we think and say and do, we secure our own relationship with God.

I wait for you, O Lord; I lift up my soul to my God.  In you I trust; do not let me be disgraced; do not let me enemies gloat over me.  (Psalm 25:1-2)

Today we reflect on the sixth lesson in Psalm 119.  Tomorrow, Zayin.


To learn more about how the Hebrew letter Waw represents connection, click on the word or the image above, or go to: http://www.inner.org/hebleter/vav.htm or http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/3_waw.html 

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

the Hebrew letter hePsalm 119:33-40

He

Lord, teach me . . . Give me insight . . . Turn away from me the taunts I dread . . .

We know that we have finally fallen in love with God when we admit that God is great and good.

God says: Despite what you may sometimes believe, I want to bring you to your fullest potential.  In the moment that I created you I also created a special hope for the world. And that special hope lies in you. All of my “laws” and “statutes” are nothing more than my desire to bring you to the one central law which is to love one another . . . even your enemies. This is the insight I have for you. It is this: that you are the promise and the hope of the world just as Jesus is. Follow him and you will see the impossible become possible before your very eyes.

We can never know what is possible until we ask. We can never know what is merciful until we forgive. We can never know what is fullness until we love.

Today we reflect on the fifth lesson in Psalm 119. It is a reminder that God created us with the potential to transform others in Christ. Tomorrow, Waw.

Jesus said to them: “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the house to send out laborers for the harvest.  Go on your way . . . Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals” . . . They returned rejoicing, and said: “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name”.  (Luke 10:2, 3-4, 17)


To learn more about how the Hebrew letter He represents creation, click on the word or the image above, or go to: http://www.bje.org.au/learning/hebrew/alphabet/05heh.html and http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/3_hey.html

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Psalm 119:25-32

daleth[1]Daleth

I lie prostrate in the dust; give me life . . . I disclosed my ways and you answered me . . . you open my docile heart . . .

We find ourselves at our lowest ebb; we see the abyss yawning before us . . . and yet we know that God is with us; we know that God has the power to do the impossible with, and for, and in each of us.

God says: You may see your world as hostile and lacking nourishment yet what I see is a universe of hearts and souls. When you bring me your dreams I dream them with you. When you bring me your pain I suffer with you. When you bring me your joy I celebrate with you. 

We must strive to be open and vulnerable to God.  We must put aside our reliance on self rather than God. And we must be willing to dream what at first seems impossible.

Today we reflect on the fourth lesson in Psalm 119.  It is a reminder that with God all things are possible. Tomorrow, He.

Jesus said to them: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there”, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.  (Matthew 17:20)


To learn more about the importance of the Hebrew letter Daleth, click on the word or the image above, or go to: http://gnosticteachings.org/courses/alphabet-of-kabbalah/716-daleth.html and http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-meir/381626970/

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Friday, January 15, 2021

Psalm 119:17-24

images[4]Gimel

I am a sojourner in the land; do not hide your commands from me.

Traveling, wandering, seeking, searching, always on the move.

We look for signs and indicators. We ask for affirmation and assurance.

God says: You are always asking for clarity and this is fine but I also want you to trust me. I know that my prophet Jeremiah gives you words with which to rebuke me: “You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped”. (Jeremiah 20:7) But I never trick you; rather, I call. I do not deceive you; I ask that you trust me. I do not steer you wrongly; although at times you fear that I do. I hide nothing from you and I love you more than you imagine. You want a map of all that is to come and all that is to take place but this information is not as useful as you might believe. Rather than ask me for details, dates, times and places . . . ask me to accompany you. This I do out of sheer love for you. There is nothing we cannot do together. Of this you may be assured. In this you may be affirmed. This you may trust. Rely on me always.

We too often allow our fear of life’s enormity to overshadow our reliance on God’s love. We take ourselves too seriously and believe ourselves omnipotent and all-knowing. As we journey through life we need none of the artificial safety nets we scramble to assemble. All we need is an ear well-tuned to God.

Today we reflect on the third lesson in Psalm 119. It is God’s simple invitation to cease our search for life’s roadmap and to instead trust God’s providence and care. Tomorrow, Daleth.

How long, Lord?  Will you utterly forget me? (Psalm 13:1)

And God replies: I am here beside you where I have always been. 


To learn more about the importance of the third Hebrew letter Gimel, click on the word or the image above, or go to: http://houseofjoseph.net/alef-bet_download_page.htm and http://www.hebrewtoday.com/content/hebrew-alphabet-letter-gimel-%D7%92

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Psalm 119:9-16

02bet[1]Beth

I will meditate on your precepts and regard your ways.

Seeking God. Treasuring God’s word. Rejoicing in God’s testimonies. Meditating on God’s precepts. Delighting in God’s statutes.

We are made to search, to listen, to think, to act, to celebrate.

God says: When you concentrate on my “laws” you founder and this is because you bring your focus and energy to a black and white world that is not mine. When you listen to me you bloom. When you drink in my Word you bear fruit. When you rejoice in me you find your eternal self.   

We too often live life as a predictable checklist rather than a loving adventure with God.

Today we reflect on the second lesson in Psalm 119.  It is God’s simple request that we rely on God alone.  Tomorrow, Gimel.

I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds . . . (Psalm 77:12)


To learn more about the Hebrew letter Beth, click on the word or the image above, or go to: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Grammar/Unit_One/Aleph-Bet/Bet/bet.html

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Over the next few weeks we will look closely at Psalm 119, the longest chapter in Scripture. In this time of pandemic, transition, and social and political unrest, we turn to this acrostic poem that brings us God’s beautiful message of love in groups of eight verses named for the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. 

Psalm 119:1-8

aleph[1]Aleph

Walk in the law . . .

Laws, precepts, testimonies, statutes, precepts, commandments, decrees, ordinances, the Way. So many words to express a concept so simple.

We are made in God’s image and so we are called to nourish God’s Law of Love within ourselves and in others. We are made as creatures of mercy and so we are called to nurture God’s Testimony of Mercy wherever and whenever we find it. We are made to love boldly and well and so let us move among both our friends and our enemies to serve as catalysts of God’s Way of Love for the world.

God says: Do not be overwhelmed when I call you to love as I do. I have placed seeds of love in each of you and I nourish them daily so that they might bloom in you. You are too often downcast at the obstacles you find before you, but I tell you that when you lift your eyes above these barriers you find me. When you love for my sake you bring a new eternal life into the world for me. When you endure as I do . . . you last forever as I do. 

We too often see our limitations rather than our promise.

Today we reflect on the first lesson in Psalm 119.  It is God’s simple request that we walk in the way the Lord shows to us.  Tomorrow, Beth.

Give thanks to the Lord who is good, God’s love endures forever . . . (Psalm 118:1)


To learn more about the Hebrew letter Aleph, click on the word or the image above, or go to: http://biblehub.com/topical/a/aleph.htm and http://alephjournal.wordpress.com/about/

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earth-from-space-day-night[1]

Friday, December 25, 2020

James 5:7-10

Behold!

Behold, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another, that you may not be judged. Behold, the judge is standing before the gates. Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Modern humankind has established an outpost in space, giving us a perspective of our world that the ancients could only imagine. Perhaps in our century we have strayed too far from the simple tasks of reaping God’s gift of bounty. Perhaps we have taken too much for granted the miracle that is our world. Perhaps we have learned to ignore the miracle of the Nativity.

God says: In your rush to understand me you may lose me.A bide with me for you are Christmas people who bring the Good News to the world. In your eagerness to explore my universe you may forget me. Remember me for you are Christmas people who bring authenticity and honesty to the world.  In your haste to acquire and store up you may overlook me. See me in those who have little for you are Christmas people who bring Christ himself to the world. Behold and celebrate the importance of the Nativity. Behold and share my generosity with others who have nearly nothing to sustain them. Behold and love those who suffer.  Behold . . . and be Christ in the world.

When we remember the miracle of Christ’s Nativity we also remember the patience of the prophets who foretold this arrival. We retell the stories of apostles and disciples who endured through hardship and we also tell our own stories of endurance and fortitude. When we behold the precious fruit of this Messiah who is delivered of a woman in a lowly place in a small town we also behold our own smallness and celebrate God’s gift of Christmas, for we are Christmas people.

During Christmas week . . . what did the prophets foretell?


What does it mean to be Christmas people?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1KsGtMZ9HI Click on this link to listen to I Will be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman, reread this post and consider . . .

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