Last night we were blessed to have Sibyl Towner help us live into the third Beatitude, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Given the events of this week and the current political climate, we came with hearts in need of Jesus’ teaching. The false scripts teach us power and competition are the way, but Jesus shows us the kingdom truth that real strength comes in weakness and humility.
Our opening liturgy immersed us in the challenging words of Jesus from Matthew 7. How might God be using the speck in someone’s eye to show us the plank in our own? What is God saying to us today in the encouragement to ask, seek, and knock, the truth of good trees bearing good fruit, or the parable of the house on the rock? We humbly lifted this questions and desires to our “Good Good Creator”.
Then Sibyl brought the firehose. She spoke about our desire to be loved and led us into a reflection on the ways we seek that love. Do we look to material things? Do we seek approval and affirmation? Do we compare ourselves with others? We believe this ache is something we can remedy by ourselves. Sibyl shared one way she sought to solve this ache in her life and led us to consider how we run on the gerbil wheel of works and achievement. She then invited us into the kingdom reality. Though we compete and compare ourselves to one another in search of value and love, the truth is that we have been the apple of God’s eye all along. Finally, Sibyl invited us into our first practice of the week, intercessory prayer.
- Intercessory Prayer Is there a person or a group of people that you tend to look at and think you are better than? Is there a person or group of people who make you feel powerless or small? Is there a person or group of people that you would like to bury in a deep, dark hole? Sit with these questions for a moment. Be still and listen to what surfaces for you. Open your hands to indicate that there is room in your heart to hold them before God, for his grace and mercy to reach them.
- Humility before God As a way of bodily reminding yourself of your place before God, kneel as you pray this week. C.S. Lewis would say what our bodies do affects our souls. So this week, let’s acknowledge with our bodies that we are the created as we pray to our creator.
- Take steps of humility in relationships. For some of us it can be difficult to humble ourselves to do jobs that we feel are beneath us. These may be chores or jobs around the house or neighborhood that people don’t want to do (e.g. cleaning the toilet or hair in the shower drain, cleaning up litter or dog poop, etc.). For some, asking for help is far more difficult than doing hard jobs. This week, do some of these hard jobs, or if it is harder find a way to ask for help.
- Join us at 5:15 in B100. We will continue to meet in groups next week to share our experiences with the practices. These groups are a great way to process what God has been doing in you during the week, encourage others, and be supported as we journey together. We would love to have you join us.
Grace and peace,
Jason and The Practice Team
P.S. Finally, you can read the poems Sibyl recited last night below.
Outwitted by Edwin Markham
He drew a circle that shut me out–
Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!
Covenant by Margaret Halaska O.S.F.
knocks at my door
seeking a home for his son.
Rent is cheap, I say.
I don’t want to rent. I want to buy, says God.
I’m not sure I want to sell,
but you might come in and look around.
I think I will, says God.
I might let you have a room or two.
I like it, says God. I’ll take the two. You might decide to give me more some day.
I can wait, says God.
I’d like to give you more,
but it’s a bit difficult. I need some space for me.
I know, says God, but I’ll wait. I like what I see.
Hm, maybe I can let you have another room.
I really don’t need that much.
Thanks, says God, I’ll take it. I like what I see.
I’d like to give you the whole house
but I’m not sure …
Think on it, says God. I wouldn’t put you out.
Your house would be mine and my son would live in it.
You’d have more space than you’d ever had before.
I don’t understand at all.
I know, says God, but I can’t tell you about that.
You’ll have to discover it for yourself.
That can only happen if you let me have the whole house.
A bit risky, I say.
Yes, says God, but try me.
I’m not sure –
I’ll let you know.
I can wait, says God, I like what I see.