Posts Tagged ‘1 Corinthians 2:9’

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Acts 21A Prayer as We Go Up to Jerusalem

Walls of Jerusalem

Walls of Jerusalem

For the last few days we have explored the journey we make individually and collectively as we ascend to God’s holy place.  We have examined ourselves to see how and if and why we might want to go up to Jerusalem.  We have determined that the journey is arduous and requires much of us.  And we have decided to join others in this pilgrim march.

And so we pray . . .

Good and gracious God,

We know that we must all go up to Jerusalem to meet you despite and even through the conflict – because there is something in Jerusalem which is far better than anything we can imagine.  Eye has not seen, ear has not heard what you have ready for those who love you, St Paul tells the Corinthians and he tells us this today; he gathers himself and the other disciples to go to meet you despite the strife which lies ahead.

We know that we must all go up to Jerusalem because we can do nothing else, we can take no other action, we can join no other cause that will bring us as much as you want to bring to us.  We must stay and stand . . . and shirk away from no cross.

We know that we must all go up to Jerusalem for that is where we meet you, God.  There are many directions from which to travel, many roads on which to journey, many people with whom to travel, but travel we must because it is the only destination worth seeking and the only road worth traveling.

We know that we must all up to Jerusalem in joy and anticipation for there is no greater delight, no greater happiness than the gladness that you have in mind for us.

As we move through Lent toward Palm Sunday to begin Holy Week when we celebrate your entrance into Jerusalem, we want to go up to Jerusalem for there is no other place to go, no other place we want to be.

Call us to you. Take us with you. Hold us close despite the trials of the journey . . . for we know that we must all go up to Jerusalem.  Amen.

Paul to the people of Corinth at: 1 Corinthians 2:9 

To learn more about Jerusalem, visit Victor’s Place blog and read the Up to Jerusalem post at: http://vhoagland.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/up-to-jerusalem-november-10/

For more Jerusalem photos, click on the image above or go to: http://www.jabberwocky.com/photo/israel/jerusalem.html

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joyFriday, November 14, 2014

Ezra 3

Joy and Worship

We move further into scripture looking for stories of joy that continue to surprise us. To explore other stories, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter the word Joy in the blog search bar. You may also want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com to see how joy surprises you there. Today our story is taken from the Book of Ezra.

After the Babylonian captivity and exile, after the scattering of the twelve tribes to the corners of the known earth, after the loss of hope that those who go out weeping will return rejoicing . . . the faithful receive word that they are to return to Jerusalem.  Two leaders, Ezra and Nehemiah, the priest and the administrator, lead the faithful in a journey of reunion and transformation. As with all people who remain open to the power of the Spirit and the healing of God’s presence, these returning exiles gather to worship Yahweh once again. And they know great joy in abundance.

Ezra 3:12: Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away.

scroll_610x300Can we imagine the sound of joy that might rise to the skies if we were to thank God for all that we have and all that we are? Can we fathom the power we already hold in our minds and hands if we give all our great and petty worries over to Christ? Can we picture the compassion and healing that we might experience and then share with the world if we open our hearts to the Spirit that already dwells within?

God says: You are rightly focused on the daily task of survival but imagine if you were to trust me more and your own resources less? Do you see how much you have already gained? Can you imagine how much you are yet to receive? My servant Paul reminds my followers in Corinth that “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”. (1 Corinthians 2:9) And this is so. Today you read about how the faithful returned to me and celebrated with liturgy. Do you know how much it means to me when you join my Son, our Spirit and me in beautiful liturgies of Word and Eucharist? Do you know that I have wonderful plans for you? Plans for joy and not for woe? When you doubt, open scripture to see how many times I have already rescued my people. Open your lives and remember how often I have already saved you. Will I not love you even more as our relationship deepens? Will I not bring you even more joy? Have I not already told you that all of this is so?

scroll-mAs we consider today’s Noontime, let us also consider how we might approach liturgies with a new energy. If we do not belong to a worship community, let us explore the possibility of finding or creating one. And if we long to find union that lasts, let us commit to entering fully into our worship community with a new expectation of finding great joy.

To learn more about Ezra and Nehemiah, spend time with the stories in these two books. Enter their names in the blog search bar and explore. Click on the images for other reflections. Or use the scripture link to compare different Bible versions of these verses. 

For a better understanding of these Books, go to: http://biblehub.com/dictionary/e/ezra-nehemiah.htm 

For more about anxiety and joy, click on the image above or visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/


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