Posts Tagged ‘Exodus 14:14’

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Psalms 105 & 106: Collective Stillness

stillness[1]Psalms of collective jubilation, collective lamentation, of collective recognition that we are human, of collective jubilation that we are forgiven and loved.  We hear a clamoring in these verses as the psalmist recites the many good things Yahweh has bestowed and also the many ways Yahweh’s people have strayed.  We might be overwhelmed by the goodness and mercy Yahweh displays as he repeatedly gathers in the lost, and heals the hungry, broken and sorrowful people.  There is almost too much going on in these psalms to take in all that Yahweh is and does.

The morning prayers in MAGNIFICAT today are all about being still . . . being patient . . . being calm amid the clatter . . . to listen to and receive the saving power of God.  (Cameron 123-125)

By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies.  Isaiah 30:15b

The Lord . . . remembers forever his covenant, the pact imposed for a thousand generations. Psalm 105:8

The Lord himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.  Exodus 14:14

When they were few in number . . . he let no one oppress them.  Psalm 105:12&14

The kingdom of God is within you!  Luke 17:21

Save us, Lord, our God; gather us from among the nations that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in praising you.  Psalm 106:47 

When we gather together in the great collective . . . we often lose the stillness.  When we remember the many times we have sinned, the many times we have forgiven and the many times we have been forgiven ourselves . . .  we may be overcome by the great difference that exists between our creator and ourselves.  Yet this originator brings us forth in his image, with his love . . . to be jubilant in the world he has created for us.  So that we might not become bogged down in our sorrow or anxiety, we must look for our collective celebration and joy.

It is often in the stillness that we best re-find our umbilical cord to our source.  This calm returns us to our genuine purpose . . . eternal joy and celebration with God.  Perhaps in our collective tumult we might also find a collective stillness and peace.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!  Let all the people say, Amen!  Hallelujah!  Psalm 106:48.

Image from: http://robertrabbin.com/blog/?p=1699

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 9.2 (2009): 123-125. Print.  

Written on February 9, 2009 and posted today as a Favorite.

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Luke 8:22-24Calm

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Ludolf Backhuysen: Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Moments before opening scripture I came from the classroom of a teacher who is new to us this year and we spoke about creating calm in the midst of rush.  Today’s Noontime brings us the same message: when we have difficulty finding peace in the hectic pace of our lives, we can always turn to Christ . . . for Christ knows best how to still the storm.  Christ reminds us to . . . Be still! 

Steven Curtis Chapman performs Be Still and Know, a song based on Psalm 46.  The lyrics are well worth reading, and the song worth hearing. They remind us that we cannot survive the wind-tossed waves alone; they tell us that we must seek refuge from powerful winds and mighty seas in Christ only.

In Exodus 14:14 Moses tells his disquieted people, The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.

As Nehemiah and Ezra rebuild the temple and city of Jerusalem and call the people back to God, the Levite priests say to the people: Be still, for this is a sacred day.  Do not grieve. (Nehemiah 8:11)

The Psalms remind us: Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways,when they carry out their wicked schemes(Psalm 37:7)

Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  (Psalm 46:10)

The prophet Zechariah tells us: Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.  (Zechariah 2:13)

And in Mark’s version of today’s story Jesus rebukes the wind with the words: Quiet!  Be still!  (Mark 4:39)  The wind dies down and all is completely calm . . .

Christ’s followers are amazed when Jesus commands even the waters and winds . . . and so may we be once we fully hand our lives over to the one who has created us.

Christ’s detractors complain that Jesus breaks all the observed laws . . . and so may we if we allow the laws to become our gods.

Christ’s enemies stalk him with envy and greed . . . and so may we if we allow the details of life to overcome us.

Christ’s true disciples read this story and believe . . . and so may we believe once we live each moment in Christ rather than fret the minutes of each day away in ourselves.

And so we pray . . .

On this day when we consider all that is turbulent in our lives, let us allow Christ to silence the tumult of our lives and let us be still.  In this rush of activity, let us invite Christ into our lives and let us give over to him all that troubles us.  In this season of waiting in joyful hope, let us make room for Christ – even if we can only manage a small pocket of quiet.  In this time of anticipation, let us surrender to him all our dreams and desires.  Let us give willingly to him all that we are, and all that we have.  Let us go to Christ openly, honestly and lovingly.  And let us hunker down in the ship of life and trust that God will calm both the wind and the sea.  Amen. 

Link to Chpaman’s Be Still: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHlbnNUHQGI 

Adapted from a reflection posted on December 1, 2011. 

Image from: http://freechristimages.org/biblestories/jesus_calms_the_storm.htm

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Joel 2:25-27Love Born of Freedom 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

A repost from July 31, 2011. 

In today’s Gospel from Mark 6:53-56 we hear the message that we recognize Jesus’ goodness immediately when we are suffering or in need.  [P]eople immediately recognized him.  They scurried about the surrounding country and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever he was.  Jesus, moved by compassion, acts out of his love for humanity; he turns no one away.   We must remember to invite Jesus to heal our wounds each day.  We must ask God to guide us as we try to solve our small and big problems.  And we must turn over our fears and anxieties to the Holy Spirit constantly.

Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, a Cistercian monk, writes in today’s MAGNIFICAT Meditation (108-109): We have to invite Jesus continually to become Lord of our life.  He never imposes himself by force because, being Love, he wants to be loved in return, and love is born only from freedom and never from force or obligation.  What is true of the natural level is also true of the supernatural.  God cannot force us to love him.  Yet instead of loving God unconditionally, we spend most of our time piously trying to manipulate his power to suit our own desires: we want to have God at our beck and call . . . we have to place ourselves, voluntarily and gratefully, in the hands of the Physician of the bodies and souls, confidently manifesting to him our every illness and complaint. 

In this portion of Joel’s prophecy we are reminded just how much God wants to care for us that even after we have turned away and have done things that would erase any human relationship, God is still waiting patiently to heal.

From the MAGNIFICAT Morning Prayer Mini-Reflection (102): God in his power is refuge and strength; God in his mercy is the river that refreshes the soul; God in his beauty stills all our useless struggles and gather us into his peace. 

The Lord himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.  (Exodus 14:14)

We already have all that we need . . . we may not feel it.

We already have all that we want . . . we may be blind to it.

We already have all the love we require . . . God is allowing us to come to this understanding.

He never imposes himself by force because, being Love, he wants to be loved in return, and love is born only from freedom and never from force or obligation.

Let us live our lives in total trust of the saving power of God’s love for us.

Let us free ourselves of all doubt, all coercion, and all lusting after control for all of these are alien to God’s love.

Let us instead allow ourselves to be born of God’s endless compassion and love.

Cameron, Peter John, Rev., ed. “Mini-Reflection.” MAGNIFICAT. 21 July 2011. Print.

Image from: https://www.maxpixel.net/Sky-Stars-Night-Constellation-Nature-Galaxy-2609647

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Isaiah 42: Cosmic God

Friday, December 11, 2015

Eagle Nebula is 6500 light years from Earth

Eagle Nebula is 6500 light years from Earth

The Lord himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still. (Exodus 14:14)

These are comforting words for those of us who long to lay all our needs in the merciful hands of God.

Today’s reading from Isaiah contains several songs.  Verses 1 to 9 is The Suffering Servant and verses 10 to 17 is a song of victory sung for The Warrior GodVerses 18 to 25 remind us that only God can save when circumstances are bleakest.  All of this tells us that sometimes situations and people are too difficult to handle. All of this speaks us that there are times when we must take our burden to this God who loves us and who wants us to love in return.  It also reminds us that God is both servant and warrior and that despite turmoil and strife, this God tells us: I have taken you by the hand and kept you. 

God’s form of justice – whether it be bellicose or pacific – is the ultimate force which trumps all others.  Those engaged in darkness will disappear even though they may now hold sway.  The vengeful God pouring out the heat of his anger becomes the loving, suffering servant God who takes on all of our burdens.  This God is so great and so powerful that control of the universe lies in the very hands that created it. This God is cosmic.

cosmic godWe let God know that we wish to enter into this cosmos as God’s full and whole children when we enter into this suffering servant-ship with God.  This might seem like a role too wonderful and too frightening to take in.  When fear and anxiety invade, when this cosmos seems too large and too terrible to imagine, we only need remember:  The Lord himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.  He has taken you by the hand and kept you.

We are created and loved by a cosmic God. Let us enter fully into this relationship now.   

Investigate facts about the Cosmos at the National Geographic site at: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey/ 

Adapted from a reflection written on November 16, 2009.


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