Crossing the threshold


Stolpersteine – in memory of a Jewish family who used to live here
 

Meditation

Many times today I will cross over a threshold.
I hope I will catch a few of those times.
I need to remember that my life is, in fact,
a continuous series of thresholds:
from one moment to the next,
from one thought to the next,
from one action to the next.

Help me appreciate how awesome this is.
How many are the chances to be really alive …
to be aware of the enormous dimension
we live within.

On the threshold the entire past
and the entire future
rush to meet one another.

They take hold of each other and laugh.
They are so happy to discover themselves
in the awareness of a human creature.
On the threshold the present breaks all boundaries.
It is a convergence,
a fellowship with all time and space.
We find You there.
And we are found by You there.

Help me cross into the present moment –
into wonder, into Your face:
that “now-place,” where we all are,
unfolding as Your life moment by moment.

Let me live on the threshold as threshold.

 
~ from Begin home by Gunilla Norris, p.14-15


More meditations by Gunilla Norris
Table grace
Full of air
 

On the threshold of tomorrow


Spotted on a wall near my local supermarket. What can this mean?  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 

I first posted this blessing by Joyce Rupp in a post entitled Looking forward looking back in the last days of 2018, on the threshold of a new year. Rereading the words today, I think they are well worth adopting as a blessing for all our days / all our tomorrows.

Check out the Index for posts you might like to revisit, or search on a topic, category or theme.
 


Blessing … for today … tomorrow … whenever

 
I hope for you …

… that the single, most significant dimension of life
is your relationship with the Source of Goodness
who never ceases to sing love songs to your soul

… that you find meaning, purpose, and vitality
in what you do daily

… that you treasure your loved ones
and let them know how dear they are to you

… that you make choices and decisions
that reflect your truest self

… that you look in the mirror at least once a day
and smile in happy amazement

… that you remember relationships are what count above all else –
more than work or money,
or all the material things we spend so much time tending

… that you live in an uncluttered manner,
enjoying the freedom to be content

… that you keep your sense of humor
when things don’t go the way you want

… that you find adventure in each new day
and marvel at the wonders of creation
which constantly present themselves to you

… that you never give up on yourself
when others turn away or do not understand

… that you are attentive to the health
of your body, mind and spirit

… that you take risks and accept
the growth-full challenges that come to you

… that you draw on your inner strength and resiliency
when you are in need

… that you carry peace within yourself,
allowing it to slip into the hearts of others
so our planet becomes a place
where violence, division, and war are no more

 
~ written by Joyce Rupp. Posted on Joyce Rupp’s website.
 


From the blog
In the school of prayer with Ignatius of Loyola
Food for thought
Show me the way
 

3 Prayers for courage


Space separates our bodies, but not our minds | Rotterdam Centraal  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 

Another post in the 3 Prayer series, to introduce our theme for September: THRESHOLD.

 


#1

O God, you know we are often filled with fear and foreboding.
Give us courage and deepen our trust.
You are a rock which nothing can shatter.
On you we can place the whole weight of our lives.

~ written by Richard Harries,
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #279
 


#2

O Lord, everything fills me with fear and apprehension. Even the smallest commitment has become a huge ordeal in my eyes. I cannot see any hope or purpose in my life. Teach me to go on praying, though my faith seems lost and there is no apparent response. Give me the strength to face one day at a time, and to know that, somehow, you will carry me through. Do not let me become so obsessed with myself that I fail to respond to the needs of others. As I echo the words of Jesus, ‘Let this cup pass from me,’ let me, like him, accept your will – and give me a little of his courage.

~ written by Mary Rose de Lisle,
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #289
 


#3

When I feel threatened
or believe myself to be a failure,
give me courage to enter my still centre,
the place of buried treasure
and sunshine
and solitude
where you are, Lord,
and where it no longer matters
who approves of me
or how successful I am
because you are there,
and, in your presence,
I rediscover the confidence
to be me.

~ written by Angela Ashwin,
from A Little Book of Healing Prayer by Angela Ashwin, #50
 


From the blog
Theme: Do not lose heart   [prayer sheet]
Not deserted
Leaving the desert behind
 

Quiet / rest


 
 
In Mark 6:31 we read how Jesus, at the end of a busy day, ministered to his disciples’ need for rest and restoration, saying:

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Are you in need of some rest and restoration yourself? Hear Jesus speak these words to you, and follow his lead.


Call to Worship

(based on Matthew 11:28-30)

Come, all that are weary, all that are carrying burdens so heavy
Jesus will give us rest
Come, take what Jesus has to offer: love, forgiveness, and grace
Christ will give us peace
Come, find rest, and learn from Jesus
For our Savior will give us rest in our souls
Come, let us worship our God
Let us follow our Savior, who leads us into life.
 
 
~ written by Rev. Mindi, and posted on Rev-o-lution.
 

Restless / restore


(Photo: Kate McDonald)

 
If you search on the word rest you’ll discover, as I did, that it appears in all kinds of unrelated words, like interested, forest, wrestling and restore – each word containing a world of meaning of its own.

I like that unrest and restlessness are somehow related, and yet substantially different. Unrest generally has negative connotations, while restlessness has mixed overtones. A holy restlessness and an unholy restlessness are both feasible, but unrest feels far removed from God’s good intentions for us and the world. Still unrest might be a truer reflection of what is going on under the surface, and God has been known to use unrest to bring about necessary change.

Here is a morning prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer that features both restless and restore. In prayer we can bridge the two.
 


Morning prayer

O God,
early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray,
and to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.

In me there is darkness,
but with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
but you know the way for me …

Restore me to liberty,
and enable me so to live now
that I may answer before you and before men.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.
Amen.
 
~ by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, posted on cinchreview.com
 


 
Extra
The photograph was part of a batch that Kate McDonald sent me to accompany the 2017 Holy Week series. It is somehow linked to a small family-owned farm outside Bethlehem, Palestine and their project called Tent of nations.
 

Come rest


Bergsingel, Rotterdam  (Photo: Irene Bom)
 

Recently I took some friends from Presbytery for a walk around my neighbourhood and we passed this very spot. It’s on the way to my current favourite hangout – two park benches where you can catch the evening sun and enjoy the water and wild life.

I hope you have your own favourite hangout where you can catch your breath and marvel at the signs of life all around you and maybe say ‘Hi!’ to the people passing by.


Call to Worship

inspired by Isaiah 55 : 1-3

Come to the water, all you who thirst —
come drink deeply from the river of life.

Come to the water, all you who are weary —
come rest in the quiet pools of God’s love.

Come to the water, all you who long for justice —
come be renewed in God’s ever-flowing stream.

For God is here among us,
washing away the dust and grime of our lives,
and pouring out the Spirit on all who thirst.
Let’s worship God together.

 
~ Christine Longhurst, posted on re:worship
 


From the blog
Leaving the desert behind
Sabbath rest
When hot and bothered
 

Treasure for our times


 

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
      he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
      a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
      the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

Isaiah 33:5-6 (NIV UK)

 

Let us look to God and humbly pray that these inspired and inspiring words may come true in our times.


A prayer

Holy God:
with the precious jewel
of holy scripture,
you share with us
the treasure of your heart.
Engrave your covenant –
your hopes, your dreams,
your vision, your peace –
upon our hearts,
that they might beat
as one with yours.

Holy Word:
ever clear,
you keep us from wandering
down the wrong paths;
ever longed for,
you make us persistent
in bringing justice
to the lost and to the least;
ever practical,
you show us how
not to misplace our hearts.

Holy Wisdom:
as you breathe the Word
into our hearts,
tutor us in faithfulness
so we are trained
in using the tools
of justice and hope;
so we are equipped
to share the good news with all;
so we become skilled
in compassion and grace.

God in Community, Holy in One,
we lift our hearts to you.
as we pray as Jesus teaches us, saying,
Our Father . . .

 
~ written by Thom Shuman, and posted on Lectionary Liturgies


From the blog
Food for thought
Grace upon grace
Theme: Sharing in Jesus’ ministry  [prayer sheet]

In times like these

 

At the height of World War II Albert Camus wrote,

“We must mend what has been torn apart, make justice imaginable again in a world so obviously unjust, give happiness a meaning once more.”

 

Let us keep praying, till justice rolls “on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24)

 


Repenting and lamenting in times like these

You are the God who hears:
hear our prayer today for all who lament or repent.

For those among us who face discrimination every day
because of their skin colour,
we lament.

For those among us with white skin who benefit
from racist systems sometimes even without realizing it,
we repent.

For those among us who have struggled and waited so long
for the Promised Land of freedom and equality,
we lament.

For those among us who have acted in racist ways
and have hurt people of colour,
we repent.

For those protesting injustice who face police brutality
and a justice system rigged against them,
we lament.

For those who think racism is someone else’s problem,
and not a problem for humanity,
we repent.

God of hope, show us how to work for justice together,
standing up for what is right,
stepping in when something’s wrong,
shouldering each other’s burdens,
holding each other accountable,
righting the wrongs we’ve done,
speaking truth to power.

We pray for change, lasting change,
for protection for protesters,
for a de-escalation of violence
and for government leaders who listen.

Deliver us from evil, within and without,
in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

 
~ written by Carol Penner and posted on Leading in Worship.
 


From the blog
Interpreting the times
Not deserted
Protection for hearts and minds
 

Slow time


 

Slow Blessing

God the creator,
who rested on the seventh day after the work was done,
show you how to balance the slow and the fast, the work and the rest.

God the redeemer,
who lived his life at walking pace,
strengthen you to go slow when the world is going fast.

God the sustainer,
who came at Pentecost like a rushing wind,
give you hope in the day when there will be freedom
from the limitations of time.

Go into a world of speed and live at God’s pace.
Amen.

— written by Anna (2004), and posted on the Grace website worship archive.
 


From the blog
Healed from the inside out
Show me the way
In the school of prayer with Ignatius of Loyola