Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Today is The Ascension of Our Lord
The risen Lord enters the invisible presence of God in order to be present in all times and in all places to the church and to the world. Where shall we find the risen and ascended Lord today? In his word and his bread, in his people and his washing with water and the Spirit, and in all who cry for mercy.

Opening Prayer
O God, your promises are trustworthy. We pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit to renew our lives and empower our ministries. Fill us with the joy of serving in Christ's name, that we might become faithful witnesses, offering forgiveness and healing to all your children. Grant us the joy that accompanies obedience to your word and will; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Word from Scripture
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:6-11)

Praying the Scriptures (Lectio Divina)
Lectio Divina is a way of encountering God in the Scriptures that stands in contrast to our accustomed methods of Bible study. Rather than seeking more information through study, we seek simply to be open to God's presence and the particular word that God might have for us this day. We have to unlearn some old habits and incorporate some new ones.

Use these abbreviated Guidelines with the passage above from Acts: 1.

After a few minutes of becoming relaxed and centered -
1.Read the passage slowly, attentively, listening for a word or phrase that is God's word for us this day. (Lectio - reading/listening)

2.Meditate on that word or phrase, allowing it to engage you fully. Let it interact with your inner world of concerns, memories, and ideas. Allow this inner pondering to invite you into dialogue with God. (meditatio - meditation)

3. Respond to God. And give to God what you have discovered during your period of meditation. Your heart may call out in thanks or praise or joy. If the Word has been painful, your response may be one of remorse, anger, or supplication. (Oratio - prayer)

4. Rest in God's presence, content with whatever your"experience has been." Once again we practice silence, letting go of our own words, rejoicing in the awareness of God's loving presence. (Contemplatio - contemplation)

When the time is right close with the Lord's Prayer.

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