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Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Common Liturgy



Yesterday I wrote a little bit about the importance of a personal liturgy.  Today I am going to turn to the importance of a common one, the importance of connecting deeply with community.

Spiritual disciplines matter.  Spiritual disciplines matter to me.  Spiritual disciplines matter, a lot.  If I'm honest, though, I have to say that as I began to learn about the many disciplines that are sometimes obscured by the only ones that seem to get much recognition in most Christian circles (Scripture and prayer), I have gone through a time in which Scripture has often taken the backseat.  It's not that I haven't cared, deeply, about what Scripture has to say, but I think this is actually a familiar struggle for ministers of all kinds.  We are often so intensely entrenched in the study of Scripture for the purposes of preparing sermons or writing papers that it becomes easy to forget to read transformatively.  We know the Scripture.  We believe the Scripture.  We have the Scripture memorized to such an extent that when we see a reference or hear the beginning of a passage, we can quickly rattle off the text without thinking about it too hard, and we can easily direct others to relevant passages for their struggles and joys.  All of these things are good.  But we must not forget how applicable Scripture is to our own lives, to our own spiritual formation.

Um...  I think I might have forgotten...

So two days into this new year, with an amazing liturgical day planner resource, Sacred Ordinary Days, I found myself just a little bit overwhelmed when it occurred to me that so many people are reading the same texts, today.  I have seen multiple references to the feeding of the 5,000.  My modus operandi is to look at this passage and to think to myself, "Oh yes...  I know that one... and then those stupid disciples get all freaked out about the feeding of the 4,000 just a little while later..."  Today, though, I took time to consider how this passage points to God's ability in the midst of my own inability.  Another blog, found here, was helpful to me as I worked through this passage.

I'm not all that unlike those disciples, either.  Somehow, it seems that even though I know God does amazing things, I have a hard time when the circumstances seem impossible.

I feel like the recurring themes in my life, right now, are peace and presence.  There is something amazingly powerful about exploring these themes in community.  And so, as I find myself in a season of waiting (and I am not good at waiting), these verses resonated most: 

Psalm 33:20-22 "We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.  In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you" (NIV).

And...

Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (NIV).

May there be peace as we wait, together, knowing there is hope, knowing God is close, knowing that God has done, and will continue to do, things thought impossible, even when our memory is short.

L.

3 comments:

  1. Excited to hear someone else I know is using Sacred Ordinary Days

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  2. Excited to hear someone else I know is using Sacred Ordinary Days

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're really excited about it! Did you join the FB group?

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