Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Morning Pryaer

Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 965)
Psalms 97, 99, [100] (morning)       94, 95 (evening)
1 Samuel 16:1-13a
Ephesians 3:14-21
Matthew 8:18-27

Today's readings include a wonderful prayer and a picture of stability in the midst of challenge and chaos.

Let's start with the prayer.  (Let this prayer from Ephesians be spoken for you.)

I pray that, according to the riches of God's glory, God may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through God's Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.  I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.

What a marvelous prayer.  We are to be grounded and strengthened with God's power as we trust that Christ dwells in our hearts.  Our source and root and grounding is love, for God is love.  It is a love so broad and long, so high and deep that it surpasses all we can know, but fills us with God's own very life.  With the indwelling of divine love breathing us into being, we are empowered to accomplish more than we can imagine, to the glory of Christ.  That is a description of our daily inheritance.  Each morning we are invited to accept this gift of loving presence to empower our day.

Now let's look at that empowering love in action.  Will Christ's presence be enough to sustain us through what we must face? 

Some people face homelessness or threats to their security.  Jesus himself knows their plight and lives with them -- "the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."  I have known homeless neighbors who could speak with such authenticity about their trust in Jesus.  They know Jesus is with them and near them.  For some, Jesus is their only hope, for they have nothing of themselves.  I've looked into their eyes, hopeful eyes, and I've recognized the deep trust in Jesus whom they know will not let them down.

Some people find themselves in deadly, life-sucking circumstances.  Trapped, stuck, weighed down; crushed, oppressed.  Jesus liberates us from death.  "Let the dead bury their own dead."  Jesus gives us the self-definition which enables us to separate from unhealthy dependencies and to live with authenticity and power.

Many of us experience times of chaos, when we feel overwhelmed, like we are sinking and swamped.  Jesus is in the boat with us.  He can rebuke the winds that we fear will overcome us; he can bring calm to our raging seas.  Dwelling within us, in the center of our being, Jesus is the stillpoint of peace. 

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen. 



Audio podcast: Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week. Click the following link: Morning Reflection Podcasts

About Morning Reflections
Morning Reflections is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

Visit our web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life
We aspire to...
worship weekly
pray daily
learn constantly
serve joyfully
live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas


At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Seoc Dughlas said...

Peace, Father Lowell and blessings. Again, thank you for your thoughts on today's readings.

It is good for me to be reminded that Christ is within me. I read about how Peter and the other disciples were afraid that the boat they were in would sink in the storm, not realizing that Jesus could calm it down at his will. Everytime I read that, it is easy to judge those apostles, thinking how stupid they are, that is until I realize that the Bible is talking about me. Christ lives within me, I shouldn't be afraid, nor shall I be found in want. Yet, these are things that I am concerned over just about all the time. Don't I do the same thing the apostles are doing?

It is an awesome thing, having the very power and life of God within us... I wouldn't think that that fact would be easy to forget, but from expereince... it can be very easily ignored!

That's all I got for today. Thank you Father Lowell for reminding me of this. Have a wonderful day.

--Seoc Dughlas
Email: seocdughlas@yahoo.co.uk

At 7:28 AM, Blogger Lowell said...

Thanks for your comment, Seoc. Sometimes in the middle of the storm, we can go to that still place in the center of our being, where Christ dwells, and find the peace of Christ which passes understanding.



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