Evening Prayer: June 25th (Combo Post)

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Psalm: 107:33-42, 108, 33
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 9:15-10:1
New Testament: Acts 7:30-43
Gospel: Luke 22:39-51
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from Homilies on the Beatitudes by St. Gregory of Nyssa

It does not say that it is blessed to know something about the Lord God, but that it is blessed to have God within oneself. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

As someone who was interested in religion from a very young age, I can relate to St. Gregory of Nyssa’s words here. For a long time, I had a mental relationship with God…I wanted to know answers…..I wanted to understand why things were the way they are….Why there could be only one religion….I wanted certainty.

While I can’t speak for all Roman Catholics, my own experience was that God wasn’t someone who could be known. Mediated and explained by the clergy, sure..but in terms of personal relationship…..oh hell naw. 😛

So I sit here and wonder……how many of us have cerebral relationships with Christ??? I was lucky….I was able to find something new and fresh in the Anglican liturgy….but how many people grow up in their own traditions…bored to death by what they hear over and over. 😛

I guess that’s where we have to put our trust in the Holy One in Three. When we come to a faith that’s personal….it’s never anything that we do ourselves. It’s something that God builds up in us. It’s yet another time where we have to rely less on ourselves and our own strength than in the one who made us.

Tonight I pray that the Holy Spirit moves you to experience God 1:1 and to know that you are loved beyond any treasure. +

Remembering what matters :)

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As I think most of you may know (or have at least guessed by now) I spend way too much time on the computer. Sometimes it’s because I’m writing and doing research, or something work related on the internetz…. but mostly because I am a huge nerd 🙂

Thanks to Facebook I have been introduced to a small-ish website called Formspring

The concept for the website is interesting, it is a place where friends can post questions (either with identity revealed, or anonymously) with the expectation that the person will answer the question honestly.

To be totally honest, The actual content of the site is a little schwang-wang-wang :P……and the spam ratio tends to be very high.

Nonetheless, I came across something this evening that kinda caught me off-guard.

One of the pre-crafted questions Formspring sent out recently is as follows:

What’s more important: Who you know? or what you know?

Zach a friend of mine (and a member of the youth group whilst I was at St. Christopher’s in Burlington) came up with what I think is a brilliant answer:

How you live.

My friends, if this is the knowledge that the next generation is armed with……we have absolutely nothing to be worried about :).

One of the hardest things in our culture is to hold on to is the importance of passion, creativity and being authentic to ourselves…nurturing our own gifts and talents, rather than being worried about how much we know or how well connected we are.

Suffice it say, today is one of those days where being a nerd presented a totally awesome happen-stance and gives us all a little food for thought. Thanks Zach 🙂 +

Evening Prayer: Feast of St. Joseph of Nazareth (March 19th)

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Psalm: 34
Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 6:12-17
New Testament: Ephesians 3:14-21

I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

I’m not gonna lie here……I find it incredibly ironic that this verse is coupled with the OT lection in which Solomon rhetorically asks: what house can contain God????

Insofar as I have come to understand it…..the Biblical notion of the heart/soul is that–although it is finite–our heart is limitless in what it can feel……both in terms of good, and of the evil which it can conceive. It is the centre of who we are.

It is also the centre-point at which the Word enters in. The place in which God can speak in, through, and for us. Without the heart Scripture becomes mere nice pieces of literature.

And yet, even knowing that the heart plays a central role, it is equally not something which can contain God. In fact, part of the Good News is that nothing can contain God.

Our comprehension of God’s love never takes place in a vaccum, but rather in the community and context we are placed. Traditionally, that place has been the Church; the community of the faithful. In the modern world however, I think that context can be broadened into the wider circle of social media, information technology, and post-modern critique.

Unlike any other generation before us, we can obtain a multitude of perspectives by typing a Bible verse into Google’s search engine……or enter into intense discussion by tweeting out our thoughts on theology and what is happening out there in the world.

Nothing is contained anymore…….at least not in the same way as earlier generations. The horizon has broadened even within our own spectrum of knowledge…..

Yet, we seek to place God smack-dab in the middle of rigid doctrine and logical argument…..somehow that doesn’t seem to make sense……if our understanding of the world is always fluid, shouldn’t our understanding of how God acts in the world be just as flexible???+

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