Wednesday Morning Prayers for Dec 7 1 Year, 5 Months ago
I imagine this week's prayer as a guided meditation.
As you settle into your seat, take some time to take stock of your body, heart and mind. How do you feel? What hurts, within you and without? Is there wakefulness within you? Is there sleepiness? Is there restlessness? Don't shoo those feelings away, greet them gently. "Hello achy neck." "Hello monkey mind." "Hello sleepyhead." Breathe with them, all of yourself, gently, until you feel ready to begin.
John 14:12 In my Father's house are many mansions...
Picture a simple house, maybe something a child would draw. Don't focus on details, but simply let the word "house" open up an image for you. You are outside, looking up the front walk. Around you, around the house, there is nature - grass or sand, scrub or shrubs, trees or ice. Let us pause here, on the threshold of this house and realize how each of us, in our own homes, across the globe, is greeting this morning. Praying together. The dirt beneath our feet connects us. The air above us connects us.
Remember Mary and Joseph's Advent journey. They too stood outside, they too breathed this air and rested upon this earth.
When you are ready, come up to the front door. As we imagine entering the house, let us give thanks for Jim Heckman, new novice to OEF. Let us give thanks and prayers for each person who "rings the OEF doorbell." Let us pray with all who seek, seek housing, seek warmth for the winter, seek work, seek inclusion, seek a church home.
Remember Mary and Joseph's seeking, God's seeking. What humble place might God choose in which to be born?
When you are ready, enter in, feel the warmth of welcome, of knowing you are coming into the place where God beckons you. Let us pray for our DFC David Luke, our chaplain Luis Antonio, our treasurer Lorraine, our scribe David, our web massager Bruce, our MG Nancy, and our MG-elect Craig Robert. Let our gratitude rest on each of the OEF servants, and extend to each of our spiritual directors, priests and pastors, and other spiritual mentors.
Remember Mary and Joseph in the warmth of the stable, the shelter of animals, the blessing of simply having a safe place to rest.
Let us take some time to reflect on the aspects of house and home that are lacking in so many lives: Security. Calm. Healthy food. Clean water. Sanitation. Enough sleep. Family. Rest in compassion for what is lacking in your life and in the world. Rest in joy for the abundance you have and delight in in the world. May all beings know happiness.
We continue to await the Christ child's birth. We continue to watch, to call ourselves to wakefulness.
As we end, gaze back at the structure of the home. Let us hold especially in our prayers the homes of Nancy and Phil, of Michael and Nancy, of Lorraine, of Sophie, of the many many people around the world for whom "home" is hard, carrying with it much struggle, much worry, much burden. Let us hold this sense of "home" gently, blessing it, asking for God's will to be done, finding the rightness in this place of hurt and hope.
And finally, as we connect back to our bodies, the earth beneath our bottoms, this precious globe we are all resting upon, let us pray for the health of this island home, our Earth, which sustains and carries us. We pray for Ireland, NW North Dakota, NE Montana, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York, and all places where human actvity has contaminated and threatens the health of this home. This home God chose to be born into, this soil we are sculpted out of, in God's own image, let us rest in gratitude, in sorrow, in fear and in hope, for God's will to be done, and for all to be well.
Thank You Lord. We long for You, we await You. Let us serve You in love and in joy.