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Posts Tagged ‘our life as story’


Revelation 2 & 3: Our Story – Part IV, The Knocking at the Doorjesus knocking

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

For the last few days we have reflected on the story of our lives from its inception to its end. Today we explore the thoughts and dreams and hopes revealed in the unfolding of our lives.

I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me. 

Several years ago our parish scripture study group spent a number of weeks studying this last book of the New Testament.  It is so full of symbols and allegory that even reading a commentary may not be enough to unravel all that is held within.  These opening chapters depict Christ knocking at the doors of the seven established congregations; and they also tell us how people respond to Christ’s call.  Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, each community has its personal traits that characterize and individualize them, and if we look at ourselves and examine scripture we will be able to discovery in which place we live. Then we can spend time reflecting on what we do when we hear the knock at our own door.  Do we hear it?  Do we open the door?  Are we prepared to dine with the one on the other side of the door?  Are we willing to open ourselves to newness?

Most of us, when we expect guests, will clean the house, prepare food and drink, fluff pillows and put away stray family articles.  We want to extend hospitality to those who knock at the door.  Many of us feel as though the closets must all be straight and the dishwasher cleared.  Many of us leave personal items in the rooms we will share with our guests, not thinking that they need to be cleared away, and we will leave the dishwasher as it is.  All of us are somewhere on the spectrum of wanting to prepare for the expected guests; but what do we feel and do about those who are unexpected?  Are we comfortable with the way that we live?  Do we believe that we must make special preparations before we open the door to ourselves?

Christ knows our inmost secrets, so we hide nothing from him.

The Father knows our origins and our endings, so we hide nothing from him.

The Spirit knows our deepest needs and desires, so we hide nothing from her.

Today, as we read about the different churches of God and how they live out the message they believe they have heard, let us reconsider what we do when we see a friend or a stranger approaching our door.  Let us consider that there is nothing we can hide or put away that God does not already see and know.  And let us consider that it is the open mind that receives new insight from God, it is the open heart that is made new in Christ, and it is open arms that receive the peace and serenity of the Spirit that is God’s gift to each of us.

When the knocking comes to our own door today – as it comes to us each day – do we hear the voice?  Do we open ourselves freely?  Do we dine with the Lord willingly?  And do we allow God’s transformation to take place in us happily?

A Favorite written on  July 19, 2010.

To read more about the seven churches, click on the names of the seven cities above to see where they are located and what traits they characterize in our own story. 

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Luke 24:1-12: Our Story – Part III, Resurrection Luke24-5-6

Monday, August 17, 2010

For the past two days we have reflected on the story of our lives. Today we remember the good news of Jesus’ story. 

We can never read this part of The Story too many times; the gift is too precious, the love too prized . . . and then he went home amazed at what had happened. 

We live in a world that is too casual about the miracles that happen before us constantly.  Medicine has advanced; yet not enough to please all our wishes.  We produce food in record amounts; yet millions go hungry each day.  Energy sources seem limitless; yet we pollute the world and kill God’s creatures – and ourselves – in our greed.  And still we refuse to be amazed at what had happened when we experience God’s goodness in our lives.

We go to the food market and there is an abundance; and we credit ourselves with the harvest.  We go to clothing stalls where too many varieties of the same shoe tempt us to buy; and we complain that there is nothing to wear.  We drive through neighborhoods with empty or underused homes; and we never seem to be able to house the homeless.  And still we refuse to be amazed at what had happened when we experience God’s generosity in our lives.

We are self-centered beings who have difficulty seeing beyond our noses.  We cry out for help when we need it, and casually put God as the last item on our agendas when times are good.  In the peace that follows conflict we gear up for more strife.  We become so accustomed to struggle that we forget to rejoice.  Former enemies sit down to speak peace and we are too impatient when a world leader speaks to us and pre-empts a football game or a favorite show.  A friend calls on the phone and we silently begrudge the time they ask of us because we have too much work to do.  And still we refuse to be amazed at what had happened when we experience God’s love in our lives.

God is a loving God and this we know because even though we ruin the environment with our lack of care, the trees continue to return to foliage each spring cycle, the waters have smaller “dead zones” when they are given the time to rejuvenate, the souls of the faithful departed enjoy eternal communion with God in the New Jerusalem.  And still we refuse to be amazed at what had happened when we experience God’s power in our lives.

We can never over-estimate the length and breadth and height and depth of God’s presence in our lives, especially when we contemplate this portion of The Story.  So let us today, like Peter, go home at the end of our day . . . let us thank God for all that we are and all that we have . . . let us be amazed at what has happened in our lives . . . and witness to the miracle and the joy of the resurrection which the savior has given as gift to each of us.  Amen.

A Favorite from  June 23, 2010.

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Luke 2: Our Story – Part IIchild-is-born-738347

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Yesterday we reflected on the introduction of our story that announces to the world who we are in the manner in which we live out our response to God’s call. We may want to catalog the goodness we have offered as building blocks for the kingdom.  Perhaps we want to recount the stories of the obstacles we have overcome, the rejections we have endured, the apologies we have made and accepted.  We may even want to imagine what words will be said about us among those who remain when we depart this life. In some way and at some time, we have imagined how we are viewed by others.  We have dreamt our story.

As we read the opening words of the Christ’s story, we see his birth, the visits of shepherds and kings, the circumcision and presentation, the flight to Egypt and return to Nazareth, and the finding of the boy Jesus in the Jerusalem temple.  All of this brings us to the time of John the Baptist who announces the arrival of the Savior, and Luke tells this story well – with just enough detail so that we might imagine the joys, turmoil and uncertainty of our own early years for we are all human, and we are all adopted sisters and brothers of Christ.

As our friends and enemies turn the pages of our lives, let us envision the impediments we have overcome and the miracles we have allowed to grow in us.  And let us thank our creator, redeemer and comforter who sustain us, save us and speak to us as we envision the story of our lives.

Spending time with these verses today, we imagine the hopes and dreams our parents have for us. We imagine what potential for goodness in the world has been delivered through us. And we imagine what miracles God has worked in us, and will work in others through us. In thanksgiving, let us determine to surrender the impediments and complications of our lives to God, for it is through them, and with God’s help, that we live out the hope of our story. It is through them, and through God’s help, that return God’s goodness and hope to the world.

Adapted from a reflection written on June 21, 2010.

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Luke 2Our Story – Part Ishooting star

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Our story is told through the whole of scripture as the story of Christ. Today we reflect on the traces of this story that we find in our own lives from the first words of Genesis . . . In the beginning . . . to the last words of Revelation . . . The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.  What has been our beginning? What do our lives reveal?

From the Torah and narratives, through the books of wisdom and prophets, and finally with the gospels, letters and final oracles, we read the story of Jesus who is predicted and promised, and who comes to fulfill that covenant promise.  What is our prediction? What potential of hope has God placed within us? What is the promise our lives disclose?

The scripture stories fit together, notching closely as a mosaic to form the Mystical Body of Christ. What sort of image of God do we speak to the world with our lives? How do the stories we play out speak of our relationship with God?

Christ’s story can be our own not in that we live perfect lives as Jesus did, but in that we strive for this perfect love that Jesus teaches us daily.  Today, we look at the words that begin his story as a human . . . In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled . . . and we take the opportunity to consider once again how our own story might begin . . . In those days a war erupted between . . . In those days there was great political, economic and social unrest . . . In those days peace had come upon the land . . . In those days there was much to celebrate . . . We might enumerate our family lineage as Matthew does in his Gospel.  We might wade immediately into our story as Mark does; or we might allow poetry to take over as does John . . . In the beginning was The Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   Our own New Testament might begin . . . In the beginning there was Fury . . . there was Peace . . . there was Confusion . . . there was Joy.

Today we spend time reflecting on the introduction of our story. The introduction of our hope. The introduction of the love we bring to the world as our response to God’s call.

Tomorrow, our stories of obstacles and rejections.

Adapted from a reflection written on June 21, 2010.

 

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Tuesday, January 31, 2011 – 2 Chronicles 1 – The Story

Written on January 13, 2010 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

Solomon

Each of us has a story to tell.  Each of us is a story to the world. 

The story of Solomon is one of building, of amalgamating, and of glorifying.  It is also a story of forgetfulness, of straying and of falling apart. 

How will our own story evolve?  What will our own story ultimately tell the world about us?

In today’s reading we see Solomon begin to gather himself and his people. 

Solomon, son of David, strengthened his hold on the kingdom, for the Lord, his God, was with him.

Do we have a handle on who we are and what we stand for?  Is God an integral part of our plans?

God appears to Solomon to commune with him as they work together.

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Make a request of me, and I will grant it to you”.

Do we cultivate our relationship with God?  Do we leave ourselves open to his will and word?

Solomon asks for wisdom and knowledge, eschewing the gifts of wealth, power and fame.  What do we ask for so that we might build our story with God?

Solomon returned from the high place at Gibeon, from the meeting tent, and became king over Israel.

Solomon returns from his place of prayer with where he and his assembly have awaited God’s word and he begins the work placed in his hands. 

Once we come away from our meeting place with God, whose work do we set about doing?  Do we ever return to that high place to continue our conversation with God?   How do we use our hands, our feet and our hearts to unfold the story that is ours to tell?  And ultimately, what does our story say to the world? 

To read more about Solomon, Bathsheba, and the Temple, click on the image above or go to:

http://www.bible-topten.com/Solomon.htm

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