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Evening Prayer – 14 October 2019

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

A day of meetings and hospital calls

Time spent on the phone with a dear friend

Walking once more through the Valley of the Shadows

Lord, grant this family comfort on this journey

Lord, grant them peace

Lord, hear the groans of their hearts

Now as my eyelids grow heavy

I lift this humble prayer to you

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

Evening Prayer – 13 October 2019

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

It was a powerful Lord’s Day of worship

It was also a time of reflection

As we walked along the Lakeside

Your Spirit’s presence was palpable

Challenge us O Spirit of perfect truth

Now as my eyelids grow heavy

I lift this humble prayer to you

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

CoInspire – A Reflection

Denise and I spent last week at our favorite place on earth, Montreat Conference Center (and village) in North Carolina. To be in such a sacred space is a blessing.

To say that this was a week of comfort wouldn’t be an understatement, it would be a lie. We attended the CoInspire conference put on by the PC(USA). The bottom line for the conference was how we must Liberate Imagination and Eviscerate Racism. As a white male with privilege, I had no clue growing up and early on in my career in the military where I was a Chaplain, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before retiring how bad it was.

Working with my LGBTQAI+ friends in the military for 21 years, I saw the lies and the strife they went through. I also saw first-hand the glass ceilings and “under the radar” Racism, Sexism, and inequality faced by many who have sworn to protect the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

I was reminded this past week that there is much work to be done. I was also reminded of the part I MUST play in systemic change in our nation and world.

There is still much to process. It will take more than a few days to process. Yet in addition to processing, there is a call to immediate action. Lord, give us the courage and the strength to do so.

There is so much to do.

Following our week at CoInspire, we spent a couple of days in Louisville. To spend time in the places where my spiritual mentor Thomas Merton walked was amazing. As I pondered and prayed, I asked God for guidance. How am I to walk this road and fight this fight?

To quote Merton: Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.

May God guide and challenge each of us, dear reader. May we truly be instruments of reconciliation and peace.

Sermon – Are the Works of Our Hands Faithful and Just? – 13 October 2019

First Reading – Psalm 111

Second Reading – Luke 17:11-19

Sermon – Are the Works of Our Hands Faithful and Just?

Breathe Deeply – Godspacelight

Beautiful prayers from Madre Christine Sine ❤️❤️

…I find that prayers like this are powerful ways to keep the presence of God with us throughout the day. Whenever I get anxious or uptight because there seems to be too much to do, I love to pause and recite one of these prayers while slowly breathing in and out…
— Read on godspacelight.com/2019/10/12/breathe-deeply/

Evening Prayer – 12 October 2019

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

It has been a day of reflection

It has also been a day of refreshment

A time to read

A time to watch College Football

An evening of music with dear friends

For these and so many blessings, I thank you Lord

Now as my eyelids grow heavy

I lift this humble prayer to you

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

Are the Works of Our Hands Faithful and Just?

Rocky can be an amazing teacher if we but give her a chance. The Psalms come alive (I lift up my eyes to the hills–from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.) when I spend time in God’s creation. Spending time with this Bull Elk in the meadow on Old Fall River Road was an inspiration.

Pondering Psalm 111 and the story of the ten lepers from Luke’s Gospel this week has been interesting. We were at a denominational conference at Montreat in North Carolina. CoInspire was the name of the conference and the “sub-title” was Liberating Imagination, Eviscerating Racism. Needless to say there was a lot to learn and a lot that challenged the “status quo” of “White Privilege,” especially for a White Male.

Liberating imagination… if ALL of God’s children could imagine… Peace… Wholeness… Equality… Hope… a Future… it reminds me of John Lennon’s song Imagine… indeed, imagine if you can… the good news is that God can and does!

In Psalm 111:5-7 we read the following: He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant. He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations. The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.

It is this sort of imagination that the Lepers in Luke 17:11-19 didn’t have. Isolated… looked down upon… treated as sub-human… condemned… they didn’t have much to hope for other than the scraps the people of the village would toss their way without making eye contact. How could they possibly imagine the Lord paying any attention to them. But Jesus did pay attention to them as he walked along the road. In an unusual response, Jesus commanded the lepers to present themselves before the priests. He didn’t touch them which was also unusual. Yet in their taking his command to heart, they were made whole!

Such wholeness meant a return to community. No longer would they be looked down upon. No longer would they be considered less than human. No longer would they be isolated from the community. They were made whole!

What is amazing is the fact that the Samaritan leper was the only one to return and give thanks to Jesus. A Samaritan… An Outsider… this one returned praising God as he fell prostrate at the feet of Jesus.

This once again takes me back to the work of this past week. The marginalized… my LGBTQAI+ family… my family who are Indigenous… my family who are People of Color…. They have been made outsiders for far too long now.

If the works of our hands are faithful and just, we need to look deep within our hearts and souls, dear reader. We need to look deep within and see how we can be a better instrument of God’s peace.

The closing line of Psalm 111 says that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” The term fear in this context means “reverence.” To revere the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Such wisdom will indeed light the flames of imagination and eviscerate racism and any of the other -isms and phobias which people of privilege use to separate themselves from the ones whom God has created.

May we revere God enough to honor ALL those whom God has created. Can you Imagine such a world? By the grace of God I can!