From The God Journey Podcast with Wayne Jacobsen
It is always wonderful to me to find that there is a bigger picture than the one that is constrained behind the blinkers…that I never thought I now had!
The following teaching by Greg Boyd was blinker shattering for me! It resonates with what I believe is the voice of God in me…leading me to a more intimate and freer space where love is at the centre!
I have for years been a passionate Christian Zionist, who is seeing more and more, that much of my understanding on Israel and the last days is flawed, through a blinkered and often times distorted understanding of both scripture and God! I hope this teaching challenges you as it did me….I hope it brings you closer to the heart of God….I hope that instead of trying to justify your entrenched position, (as I have done too many times), you will allow the gentle voice of love to lead you into all (unblinkered) truth!
Keep your eyes upon Jesus…..!
The attached link to an article by the late Bishop Tony Palmer is, I believe, a cry from the Lord’s heart! It is a wake-up call to The Church to hear what the Spirit is saying in regard to Unity; and it is a challenge for us all to step out and embrace our diversity in Christ!
Br. Michael Daly. CJ
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1: 1 – 5
As we enter into 2013 it is like a new beginning. But, all of our beginnings have an end unlike ‘The Word of God’ in the above verse. Thomas a Kempis wrote, “Happy is he that always hath the hour of his death before his eyes and daily prepareth himself to die”. King David wrote, “Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am ….Certainly every man at his best state is but a vapour” (Ps. 39:4-5).
Our Lord Jesus in teaching us to pray, prayed, “ Our Father who art in heaven….give us this day (today) our daily bread….”. He further taught us not to worry about tomorrow or about what we should eat…or what we should drink…or what should we wear….
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25 – 34)
My plea to you for this New Year is to try to live each day as though it were your last! Try not to get bogged down with the worries of the world and the worries of tomorrow. We are told to Live by Faith and not by Sight. (2 Cor.5:7) So let us, every day, try to keep this injunction from the Lord.. always before us.
The world will fill you with fear….you just have to look at the TV or read a paper…it is full of doom and fear mongering and it can feed your soul so that you lose your peace…if you allow it to! The greatest strategy of the enemy of your soul is to make you believe a lie. Satan did this from the beginning and he has not changed. ……Are you really safe when the whole economy is collapsing….are you really safe when diseases are now becoming resistant to medicines…are you really safe when drug addicts run riot in towns and cities, when guns are so available and life is so cheap…are you really safe at work when so many businesses are going under in this downward economic climate…..are you really safe….? He prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour you ( 1Peter 5:8)….the roar is to paralyze you with fear, but we are told to stand firm and resist him! This comes by first humbling ourselves under God’s might hand, for we are called to cast all our anxieties upon Him…because He cares for each and every one of us.
Practice the Presence of God daily and rejoice and give thanks in all circumstances!
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 16 – 24)
My precious Sisters and Brothers, this is my prayer for you today and always.
Thank you for all you do and for your encouragement in word and deed.
Be blessed and live loved
A little brother
Br. Michael Daly. C.J.
Servant of Communion.
The Little Portion
St Barnabas Church
East Sussex. TN40 1JG
Telephone: (+44) 01424 210036. – Church Office
Lord of reality, make me real,
not plastic, synthetic, pretend, phony,
an actor playing out his part – hypocrite.
I don’t want to keep a prayer list
– but to pray,
Nor agonize to find Your will
– but to obey what I already know,
I don’t want to argue theories of inspiration
– but to submit to Your Word.
I don’t want to explain the difference between eros and philos and agape
– but to love.
I don’t want to sing as if I mean it
– I want to mean it.
I don’t want to tell it like it is
– but to be like You want it.
I don’t want to think another needs me
– but I need him, else I’m not complete.
I don’t want to tell others how to do it
– but to do it;
I don’t want to have to be always right
– but to admit it when I’m wrong.
I don’t want to be a census taker
– but an obstetrician
Nor an involved person, a professional
– but a friend.
I don’t want to be insensitive
– but to hurt where other people hurt
Nor to say “I know how you feel”
– but to say, “God knows”
and “I’ll try if you’ll be patient with me”
and meanwhile I’ll be quiet.
I don’t want to scorn the clichés of others
– but to mean everything I say
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.” (Philippians 1:9-10)
Br. Michael Daly. C.J.
I read the following article recently and thought it was worth sharing.
Michael Daly. C.J.
Worship First, Debate Later
I had been fretting for a few days about whether a black suit would be too formal for the event and in the end I decided on a classic navy pinstripe blazer paired with khakis and a white shirt and tie. I figured since I was traveling up to New England to be with friends from grad school that this ensemble would serve me well, allowing me to blend in with the crowd no matter how staid or solemn the event.
After stopping off to purchase a congratulations card, we were running a bit late. When I entered the church lobby, somebody I recognized ran toward me and said, “Oh good, you’re here! The pastor has an alb for you in the sacristy. Go hurry up and put it on and come back out here.” I walked over to meet the pastor and he picked up the worn white garment. Sensing that I didn’t have much experience vesting, he offered to help. Take off the jacket and slip this on, he told me. After buttoning up the front, he took the cincture, the long piece of rope that serves as a sort of holy belt, and tied it around my waist, leaving enough tassel loose so that the knotted ends would fall just above my shoes when I walked. Any worry I had about my attire no longer mattered; everything was covered in this sacred garb.
I was in Connecticut at a suburban Lutheran church for the ordination ceremony of a close friend who was called to serve a congregation in western Massachusetts. We had met as divinity students; he was on track to be a minister while I opted for a strictly academic route. The school we attended prided itself on its ecumenical nature, and Tim used his small in planning this joint ordination to incorporate this ethos into his ordination. As a result, he asked me, his Roman Catholic friend, to serve as crucifer (some misread the title as crucifier, an admittedly more dramatic role I may have considered had it been offered). I would wear an alb, lead the procession to the altar carrying a wooden cross, and have a prime seat in the sanctuary for the duration of the service.
From that vantage point I was able to see the other ways that the ecumenical spirit animated parts of the service. Many of my classmates had been ordained earlier in the year, and they vested and processed in behind me. Included were a handful of Episcopal priests, a few Congregationalist ministers, and others of various Christian persuasions. All the clergy sat together, their denominational loyalties mostly hidden beneath their uniform chasubles and stoles.
I had learned that ecumenists often lump together Catholics, Lutherans and Episcopalians because their liturgies are fairly similar, and I had attended enough services from each tradition to know that this is basically true. But it had been a couple years since graduation and so I had forgotten just how familiar a Lutheran service would be to my Catholic sensibilities. The opening sequence of prayers and music could have been lifted right from the Roman Missal (but that they were recited by a female bishop reminded me that I was not at Catholic Mass), and the readings were selected by a lectionary shared by many denominations. Responses and music were quite similar, and theological language was nearly identical. We did not pray for Benedict our pope or hope to share in the beatific vision with Mary ever virgin, but the overwhelming sentiment of the service was catholic in the literal sense of the word.
In the days and weeks that followed the ordination, I was filled with a spirit of ecumenism that I had not felt as viscerally since my time in divinity school, and my thoughts again turned to the place of worship in ecumenical efforts. There are many theological issues, some legitimate and some aesthetic and trivial, that keep Catholics and Protestants apart. Figuring out how to bridge these gaps often seems to be the starting point, with the goal of arriving someplace where common worship is possible.
What if we flipped the order?
A good friend who works in the Catholic Church with individuals from opposite ideological spectrums often makes the point that it is more difficult to be distrustful and disparaging of others when you know them personally. If this is true on the personal level, might it work at the denominational level as well? What if Catholics and Protestants were to approach the altar together, sincerely believing that all involved did so in a spirit of reverence and respect, awe and humility?
There would inevitably be some hiccups along the way. Would a Catholic priest feel comfortable concelebrating with a divorced female Episcopal priest? Would an openly gay and partnered minister want to break bread with an ideological opponent? How would Congregationalist and Roman Catholic presiders approach the Eucharist when their theologies are so distant? On a more basic level, what kinds of language would be used? Which core elements of worship services would be included? How would these be chosen?
Catholics and Protestants alike hold certain theological, doctrinal and liturgical traditions sacred, and the real differences among our various Christian tribes should not be casually dismissed or glossed over. But imagine the possibilities if we were able to trust in God enough to set them aside for a bit for a greater purpose. Imagine tearing down barriers, if only for an hour at a time, and worshipping together, with a vision of unity animating our thoughts and words. Perhaps the differences that seem so insurmountable to unity might lessen a bit in intensity after such a service? Though some will dismiss this idea as theologically lightweight and overly romantic, actually being present with one another in worship allows the sincerity and faithfulness of our neighbors to be felt in meaningful and transformative ways.