Pastor David reads Colossians 3:1-17 and offers a prayer from Origen:
Jesus, my feet are dirty. Come even as a slave to me, pour water into your bowl, come and wash my feet. In asking such a thing I know I am overbold, but I dread what was threatened when you said to me, “If I do not wash your feet I have no fellowship with you.” Wash my feet then, because I long for your companionship.
Posted by Mt. Haley Church of God on Friday, April 30, 2021
Pastor David reads Colossians 2:8-23 and offers a prayer from Nicholas Ridley:
Christ himself says to his Father, “Your Word is truth.” May the almighty God, our heavenly Father, give us the love and light of truth to shine in our hearts through his Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Posted by Mt. Haley Church of God on Thursday, April 29, 2021
Pastor David reads Colossians 1:15-23 and offers a prayer entitled “Anima Christi” from the 14th century:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Hide me within your wounds
and never allow me to be separated from you.
From the wicked enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me,
and bid me come to you,
so that with your saints I may praise you
for ever and ever.
Posted by Mt. Haley Church of God on Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Pastor David reads Colossians 3:1-14 and offers a prayer from King William III:
O merciful God, fill our hearts, we pray, with the graces of your Holy Spirit; with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.
O Lord, in confidence of your great mercy and goodness to all who truly repent and resolve to do better, I most humbly implore the grace and assistance of the Holy Spirit to enable me to become every day better.
Grant me the wisdom and understanding to know my duty, and the heart and will to do it.
Endue me, O Lord, with the true fear and love of you, and with a prudent zeal for your glory.
Increase in me the graces of charity and meekness, of truth and justice, of humility and patience, and a firmness of spirit to bear every condition with constancy of mind.
Posted by Mt. Haley Church of God on Monday, April 26, 2021
Pastor David reads Daniel 6 and offers a prayer from Nerses, a 3rd century church leader:
Lord Jesus Christ, Keeper and Preserver of all things, let Thy right hand guard us by day and by night, when we sit at home, and when we walk abroad, when we lie down and when we rise up, that we may be kept from all evil, and have mercy upon us sinners. Amen.
Posted by Mt. Haley Church of God on Friday, April 23, 2021
Pastor David reads Daniel 5:13-30 and offers a prayer by Pope Francis:
God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
Posted by Mt. Haley Church of God on Thursday, April 22, 2021
Pastor David reads Daniel 5:1-12 and offers a prayer from Benedict of Nursia:
give us wisdom to perceive you,
intellect to understand you,
diligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to behold you,
a heart to meditate on you,
and a life to proclaim you,
through the power of the Spirit
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Posted by Mt. Haley Church of God on Wednesday, April 21, 2021
This quote comes from a book titled “Invitation to Love” by Thomas Keating:
Whatever we experience of God, however exalted, is only a radiance of his presence. No experience in this life can be God as he is in himself because God infinitely transcends all categories and experiences. In the transforming union, the energy of faith, trust, and love is constantly being beamed to us whether we experience it or not. The body has been prepared and stabilized by the practice of virtue and the purification of sense and spirit so that it can receive the divine communications uninterruptedly. Divine love can now manifest itself in all our activities, even the most ordinary. The same all-pervasive union is present while walking down the street or brushing one’s teeth as in periods of contemplative prayer. External and internal realities are unified because all are equally rooted in God and manifest God. The entire organism is sensitized to all the ways in which the divine presence manifests itself, without mistaking any one of them as the ultimate expression of God’s love.
I’d like to reflect on this paragraph with you today, by connecting it to my recent running experience. (I know, I know, I talk about running a lot these days. But it’s a big part of what I’m doing in my spare time! I spend a lot of time thinking about it.)
On my runs, I have been listening to the wisdom and encouragement of several coaches who talk through the various workouts in my training program. One theme that keeps coming up in many of the workouts, regardless of who the coach is that particular day, is the importance of being fully present, fully aware, fully “there” in the moment. It’s easy to dwell on things that happened earlier, or things that I’ll have to do after the run. It’s easy to think about how much farther I have to run before I can stop for the day. The challenge is always to be completely present in this moment, right now.
Thomas Keating writes that God’s “divine love can now manifest itself in all our activities, even the most ordinary.” Even while I’m running. Even while I’m passing the next mile marker or crossing the next road. Even while I’m admiring the buds on the trees or the frogs in the creek beds. Even while I’m shaking the tension out of my arms or focusing on controlling my breathing. God’s love, now, can show up in every single activity of every single day.
The challenge is to be completely present in this moment, to learn to be aware of God’s love which sustains us and inspires us and consoles us every moment of our lives.
A second way this paragraph from Thomas Keating connects to my running life is through an injury I sustained last week. My left Achilles tendon started acting up on me, and that made it painful to run. I was a bit away from home when I decided that I had to stop running and just walk the rest of the way home.
Now, I’ve dealt with a few leg injuries over the past few years. And in the past, when I’ve been sidelined by a pulled hamstring or a twisted knee, I have been really discouraged and frustrated. Doesn’t my body know that I have training to do? Doesn’t it realize that this pain thing is silly, and it should just straighten up so we can get back out there again?
But this time, when my left Achilles started aching and I had to stop running, I wasn’t frustrated or bothered. I decided to accept this situation, to welcome the next few days of rest, and to trust that eventually I’d be back on the road again.
I count this as one way that God’s presence is working in my life. Thomas Keating writes, “the entire organism [my entire self] is sensitized to all the ways in which the divine presence manifests itself.” Maybe, just maybe, my patience with myself is really God’s patience at work within me. Maybe this situation is God’s reminder to me that there are lots of people with chronic pain or severe injuries, people who don’t say “eventually I’ll be back on the road again” – so this is a call for me to learn humility and to practice solidarity with those who suffer. Maybe this injury is a chance for me to recognize God’s presence in the midst of the struggle – not to ask “where are you, God?” but to acknowledge that God is experiencing this injury with me and will walk (if not run) with me through it.