Tag Archives: meditation

Where Do I Find Fuel for My Journey?

I find fuel for my life each day when I sit in my favourite chair, pen, journal, Bible, and book of reflections on my knee. This is my time with God.  I read, reflect and write in solitude. My day is always better when I give this time for prayer.  I’ve been practising a time of morning meditation for approximately forty years.  It’s special sacred time that enables me to remember that I am God’s beloved child, abundantly blessed.

Most days this week, God’s brilliant sunshine has created a halo around a vase of wild-flowers proudly gracing my Tibetan trunk.  Their regal beauty reminded me daily of two very important blessings in my life. First, they remind me to keep my eyes open all day to the beauty of God’s world that surrounds me. Second and even more important they speak of the love and care our grandson, Tim, age twenty-two, has for us. He picked them, brought them, arranged them and left them as a surprise greeting “just because”. They remind me to keep my heart open to God’s love that is offered every moment of every day, “just because”.

This week, God and Tim have worked together to touch my heart and fuel my soul. I am truly grateful. Without my daily discipline of prayer and meditation, I might have walked by those flowers and missed out on receiving the fuel I need for living.

My suggestion for each one of you is that you take a few moments every day to meet up with God in prayer. Why spend a day without acknowledging God’s presence, God’s power within you. God’s strength and power are there, available to you, whether or not you receive them, invite them into your life. There is no need to run on an empty tank.

 

Holy Saturday

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Today as part of my morning prayer and meditation time, I read Stan McKay’s reflection in the Bible Study book Longing for Home.  Stan based his thoughts on Psalm 127:2-3  The psalmist is remembering the exile of the children of Israel. “On the willows there we hung our harps. For there, our captors asked us for songs and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

I had been thinking about Jesus’ friends as they lived through that “inbetween” day we call Holy Saturday. Their sadness, their questions, their anger, their fear – it would have been overwhelming. How could they sing and dance in the midst of their grief. How could they continue to live.

Stan McKay ends his reflection with the story of one of the hymns in our United Church Hymnbook – “Many and Great, O God, Are Your Works” I have felt God’s push all day to share his story with you.

“The Dakota (Peoples) resisted the expansion of settlement into their territory, the north central plains of what is now the United States. The U.S. cavalry hunted Dakota warriors, and on one expedition, 18 men were captured. They were brought back to the fort and sentenced to death by hanging. In the morning as they walked across the compound to the gallows, the Dakota men sang a chant which the soldiers believed to be pagan. The army’s linguist later translated the song to what is now # 308 in Voices United.” (Stan McKay)

For those who don’t have access to Voices United here are the words of that hymn:

“Many and great O God, are your works, Maker of earth and sky. Your hands have set the heavens with stars, your fingers spread the mountains and plains.  Lo at your word the waters were formed, deep seas obey your voice.

Grant unto us communion with you, O star abiding one. Come unto us and dwell with us, with you are found the gifts of life. Bless us with your life that has no end, eternal life with you.”

Their song did not change their execution, just as our statements of faith, prayers and songs don’t remove the cause of our grief. Holy Saturday, is the the “inbetween” time, the time when we face the pain in our lives and wait on God. It’s the time when we focus on God’s promise of new life. It’s the time when we see the buds on the trees and give thanks that there is a light on our horizon to guide us home.

Blessings to all of you.


Palm Sunday Meditation

I’ve heard the Palm Sunday scripture each year since I started Sunday School. As a child waving that giant fan like branch felt like a huge celebration. When I followed my friends down the church aisle, all those adults staring at me dampened the party somewhat, but certainly didn’t ruin it for me. I remember imagining I was there with Jesus, skipping along beside the donkey. The coming events of Holy week didn’t even register on my radar. I skipped passed Good Friday right on to Easter Sunday. I didn’t think about the significance of the parade or who might be watching.
            As an adult I want to understand more about this story. I want to find the relevance it has for me as an individual and for our world today. One way of doing that is to place myself in the story, but this time as an adult. I invite you to join me in this process. Therefore, I offer you my guided meditation. Open your Bible to Matthew 21:1-11 . Read through the story you find there. When you’ve finished reading, turn to the meditation below. Take some time to answer each question as thoroughly and honestly  as you can.
Sit back and take several deep breaths to help you relax. In your mind’s eye see the scene. You’re right outside the Golden Gates that mark the entrance to Jerusalem. The setting sun shines directly on those gates nearly blinding you, when you look back to the city. It’s hot and dry. There’s not much grass in this dry land. A growing crowd is lining both sides of the road and still more people are poring through the gates. People are jostling one another, excited because Jesus, the great teacher and healer is coming. You’ve found a good spot in the crowd. What thoughts are floating through your mind? Are you happy to be there? Are you anxious to see Jesus? How do you feel about him? Is he a hero or an enemy?
            As you peer down the road you see them coming, men, women, a few children their sandals kicking up dust in the dry air. One man is riding, the donkey just a little small, so his long legs drag in the dust.
The stranger standing next to you points and yells, “There he is.”
Your eyes follow the line of his pointing finger. You ask, “On the donkey, is that Jesus on the donkey.”
            The stranger nods. As they approach people around you cut palms from the trees and wave them. A chant rises from the watchers. “Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna, to the son of David.” Are you joining them or standing back and just watching?
            A victorious king rides a donkey as he returns to his city. What victory is Jesus celebrating?
            The little party passes directly in front of you. Your eyes are drawn to Jesus. He turns his head. Your eyes meet and hold their gaze.
            What message are you receiving from Jesus? What would you like to tell him?
The moment is fleeting. He smiles and turns to someone else. In minutes the parade is over. Did you wave your flag?
As you watch the little band of people pass through the gates, you realize the sun has dropped even lower. They disappear from view. How are you feeling now? What will you tell your friends about this encounter?