Full of air

 

I’ve had Gunilla Norris’s book, Becoming Bread, on my bookshelf for years. Paging through it – the first time in years – I found this meditation inspired by the rising process where the yeast “breathes out” carbon dioxide that is trapped in the dough, expanding and so transforming it.

 

“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and hid in a large tub of flour until it made all the dough rise.” (Matt 13:33b, NCV)

Rising

Here in the bowl
is warmth and time to rest.
The dough is set apart and covered.

Here in the bowl
the rising starts
and creeps up the sides

reaching into time,
into space … into possibility.
Dreams are like this,

full of air,
going ahead of us,
want to take us

beyond the rim
of our horizon,
wanting to lift us out

of where we are.
Dreams are like this … unfolding
a moment at a time,

expanding us, breathing us,
demanding something new,
wanting to take shape.

This is also dangerous
for there are dark dreams, terrible
dreams. And the ones where

love asks the impossible from us.
Can this be the restlessness
of God? Are we being dreamed?

 
from Becoming Bread by Gunilla Norris, p. 45-46
 

The Gift revisited

The Gift

 
This blog usually features the prayerful writings of others. One major exception is the series, “The Gift”: 12 meditations with readings and original prayer poems on the Holy Spirit that I published between Ascension Day and Pentecost last year.

As a gift to you for Pentecost 2018, I’ve repackaged the 2017 series as a 16-page booklet in PDF format, ready for printing. To get your copy, click here.

For the original blog posts, click here.

Also, check out the Index to see what else this blog has on offer (past posts/series) and maybe consider signing up (if you haven’t yet done so) to receive future posts in your email inbox.
 

Life that gives life


Tulliallen Castle, spring 2018  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 
“Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:21-22)

Prayer

Holy Spirit, the life that gives life,
You are the cause of all movement;
You are the breath of all creatures;
You are the salve that purifies our souls;
You are the ointment that heals our wounds;
You are the fire that warms our hearts;
You are the light that guides our feet.
Let all the world praise you.

 
by Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
from 2000 Years of Prayer compiled by Michael Counsell, p. 122
 


See also: Testing ground
 

Pray: ‘Thy kingdom come’


 

Have you heard? A worldwide prayer initiative called “Thy kingdom come” starts today, running from Ascension Thursday to Pentecost.

Originally a Church of England initiative, it has now been embraced by many other denominations. For more information, see the official website.

It’s not too late. Officially or unofficially, we can all join this global wave of prayer right where we are. God is listening.

 
Other useful links

 


An offering prayer

(inspired by Matthew 6: 10)

In this world: kingdom living.
In our mouths: kingdom praises.
In our hearts: kingdom goals.
In our hands: kingdom gifts.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
Amen.

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

Pause for breath …


Floating ‘islands in the stream’, Rotterdam  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 

With Pentecost around the corner, I’ve selected “breath” as our theme of the month for May. To launch this series of posts, here is a prayer by Amy Loving that engages our breath to help us better connect with the gift and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Breath Prayer

(inspired by Romans 8:22-27)

The Apostle Paul tells us that the Spirit of God prays for us “with sighs too deep for words”. Through the Life-Giving Breath of God, we are given all that we need. Let us breathe deeply – inhaling the good gifts that God provides, and exhaling all of the things that we need to release.

Let us breathe in strength.
(Pause for breath…)
And, let us exhale our exhaustion.
(Pause for breath…)

Let us breathe in freedom.
(Pause for breath…)
And, let us exhale all that holds us back.
(Pause for breath…)

Let us breathe in a new sense of direction.
(Pause for breath…)
And, let us exhale the paths we no longer want to use.
(Pause for breath…)

Let us breathe in hope.
(Pause for breath…)
And, let us exhale self-doubt.
(Pause for breath…)

Let us breathe in unconditional love.
(Pause for breath…)
And, let us exhale distrust and hate.
(Pause for breath…)

Holy Spirit, let us feel the mighty rush of your presence in this place. Blow away our fears and worries, and help us to breathe in your gifts of new life. Amen.

by Amy Loving, and posted on The Worship Closet website


From the blog
3 Prayers to the Sacred Trinity