Thursday, September 24, 2009

Leading Devotions

So, I'm trying to be more faithful about posting to the blog...even maybe posting something every stay on the look out!

Today in chapel I led devotions. It's something I don't mind doing, but is really difficult when it comes to doing it in Romanian. We started with 10 minutes of centering prayer, and during that time my heart was rushing and my mind was flying, making it very difficult to 'center my prayer.' I was basically a nervous wreck, when I was reminded of the presence of God. No manner of words whether English or Romanian can substitute for His presence. And I prayed: this day, Father, may Your praise be what spills from my lips.

I thought I'd share the scriptures and the short piece from Practicing the Presence of People by Mike Mason which were read this morning.

Psalm 113
Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord.
Praise the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord
From this time forth and forever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
The name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations;
His glory is above the Heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
Who is enthroned on high.
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in heaven and in the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust,
And lifts the needy from the ash heap,
To make them sit with princes,
With the princes of His people.
He makes the barren woman abide in the house
As a joyful mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

Isaiah 57:14-15
And it shall be said,
"Build up, build up, prepare the way,
Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people."
For thus says the high and exalted One
Who lives forever, whose name is Holy,
"I dwell on a high and holy place,
And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite.

John 13:12
And so when He had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and reclined at the table again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?"

"God expressed His spirituality by entering into human relationships, by living and dying as one of us. He practiced the presence of people by becoming one Himself. So too each one of us must find a way to join the human race, casting off our separateness and throwing in our lot with others.
By worshipping an incarnate God, we learn to humble ourselves before one another. We sense that the quality of our spiritual life is no better than the quality of our human relationships, and that the way we connect with other people is an accurate picture of our connection with God. Jesus returned to heaven because we do not need Him to be physically present in order to experience the humanity of God. For He lives in you and in me. Most especially, He lives in us; wherever two or three are gathered.
One night in 1997, I drove with my family to a dark place in the country to view comet Hale-Bopp, the most impressive comet of my lifetime. As it happened, that same night was a partial eclipse of the moon. So there we stood, on a deserted road, gazing up at the heavens in wonder. What a phenomenal display! Even so, I found the real show was here on earth. We ourselves are the comets. We are the moon and the stars. We are the fireworks in a darkened universe.
To be in the presence of even the meanest, lowest, most repulsive specimen of humanity is still to be closer to God than when looking up into a starry sky or at a beautiful sunset. For we cannot really love a sunset; we can love only a person. God is love, and in coming to Him, we cannot escape coming through people. There is no separation between the spiritual and the social. The way we feel about people is the way we feel about God, and the way we treat people is the way we treat God." p.14-15


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