In a new light


Foto Museum, Rotterdam  (Photo: Irene Bom)
 

Prayer

“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

As the light from that first Easter sunrise streams from its distant horizon into our own life and time, we feel its touch, its warmth, its glow; and we draw from its energy, and we begin to see the world around us in a new light. In the light of your love.

So help us to walk in this light, in your light … May our actions be in step with our beliefs. May we walk the talk. May we keep no dark secrets, nor hide anything away – especially not the light you now place within our hearts.

Help us, too, to reach out in the light of love to others: to those who still walk in darkness; to those who live in the shadows of poverty and injustice; and to those who need help to see the Way.

Light up our life, Lord,
that we may shine like stars,
in brilliance,
in wonder,
but most of all, in love.
Amen

 
by Brian Draper
posted on the Monthly Prayers page of the Christian Aid website.
 

HW18 #6: He suffered abandonment


(Photo: Lindy Twaddle)

 
Mark 14:50
Then everyone deserted him and fled.

 

 
Psalm 22:11
Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.

 
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.


Prayer for Holy Week

Jesus said,
“Can you be baptised with the baptism I must be baptised with?”

Lord, we seek to feel your sadness,
we seek to share your tears.

O Christ, help us to become one with you.
In your defenceless love,
    teach us the grace of self-offering.
In your weakness,
    teach us the grace of acceptance.
In your betrayal,
    teach us the grace of forgiveness.
In your testings,
    teach us the grace of believing.

source: Prayer Rhythms: Fourfold patterns for each day (The Celtic Prayer Book, Volume One), by Ray Simpson, p. 288
 

HW18 #5: He suffered treachery


(Photo: Lindy Twaddle)

 
Mark 14:43-45
Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.

Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him.

 

 
Psalm 22:12-13
Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
Roaring lions that tear their prey
open their mouths wide against me.

 
2 Timothy 4:11
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Prayer for Holy Week

Jesus said,
“Can you be baptised with the baptism I must be baptised with?”

Lord, we seek to feel your sadness,
we seek to share your tears.

O Christ, help us to become one with you.
In your defenceless love,
    teach us the grace of self-offering.
In your weakness,
    teach us the grace of acceptance.
In your betrayal,
    teach us the grace of forgiveness.
In your testings,
    teach us the grace of believing.

source: Prayer Rhythms: Fourfold patterns for each day (The Celtic Prayer Book, Volume One), by Ray Simpson, p. 288


From the blog: 2017 Windows on Holy Week
(with photos of the Holy Land by Kate McDonald)

HW18 #4: He suffered anguish


(Photo: Lindy Twaddle)

 
Mark 14:32-42
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”

Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

 

 
Psalm 22:2
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.

 
John 16:20-22
Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.


Prayer for Holy Week

Jesus said,
“Can you be baptised with the baptism I must be baptised with?”

Lord, we seek to feel your sadness,
we seek to share your tears.

O Christ, help us to become one with you.
In your defenceless love,
    teach us the grace of self-offering.
In your weakness,
    teach us the grace of acceptance.
In your betrayal,
    teach us the grace of forgiveness.
In your testings,
    teach us the grace of believing.

source: Prayer Rhythms: Fourfold patterns for each day (The Celtic Prayer Book, Volume One), by Ray Simpson, p. 288


From the blog: 2017 Windows on Holy Week
(with photos of the Holy Land by Kate McDonald)

HW18 #3: He suffered collusion


(Photo: Lindy Twaddle)

 
Mark 14:10-11
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

 

 
Psalm 22:16
Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.

 
Psalm 1:1
Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers.


Prayer for Holy Week

Jesus said,
“Can you be baptised with the baptism I must be baptised with?”

Lord, we seek to feel your sadness,
we seek to share your tears.

O Christ, help us to become one with you.
In your defenceless love,
    teach us the grace of self-offering.
In your weakness,
    teach us the grace of acceptance.
In your betrayal,
    teach us the grace of forgiveness.
In your testings,
    teach us the grace of believing.

source: Prayer Rhythms: Fourfold patterns for each day (The Celtic Prayer Book, Volume One), by Ray Simpson, p. 288

HW18 #2: He suffered criticism


(Photo: Lindy Twaddle)

 
Mark 14:3-9
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

 

 
Psalm 22:7
All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.

 
Romans 8:1
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,


Prayer for Holy Week

Jesus said,
“Can you be baptised with the baptism I must be baptised with?”

Lord, we seek to feel your sadness,
we seek to share your tears.

O Christ, help us to become one with you.
In your defenceless love,
      teach us the grace of self-offering.
In your weakness,
      teach us the grace of acceptance.
In your betrayal,
      teach us the grace of forgiveness.
In your testings,
      teach us the grace of believing.

source: Prayer Rhythms: Fourfold patterns for each day
(The Celtic Prayer Book, Volume One)
, by Ray Simpson, p. 288
 

HW18 #1: He suffered scheming


(Photo: Lindy Twaddle)

 
Mark 14:1-2
Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.”

 
Psalm 22:6
But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.

 
1 Peter 2:1-3
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.


Prayer for Holy Week

Jesus said,
“Can you be baptised with the baptism I must be baptised with?”

Lord, we seek to feel your sadness,
we seek to share your tears.

O Christ, help us to become one with you.
In your defenceless love,
      teach us the grace of self-offering.
In your weakness,
      teach us the grace of acceptance.
In your betrayal,
      teach us the grace of forgiveness.
In your testings,
      teach us the grace of believing.

source: Prayer Rhythms: Fourfold patterns for each day
(The Celtic Prayer Book, Volume One)
, by Ray Simpson, p. 288
 

Wilderness encouragement

 

Three short pieces, by way of encouragement.

#1

God did not say,
“You shall not be tempted;
you shall not be troubled;
you shall not be distressed.”
 
God did say,
“You shall not be overcome.”

 
from the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways Archive and posted on https://re-worship.blogspot.nl

#2

In the darkest night,
in the valley of the shadow of death,
 
even there
we find shadows
bearing witness to the dawn
 
for it is in the pile of fallen leaves
that we find the acorn.

 
from http://www.liturgyoutside.net

#3


(Photo: Irene Bom)
 

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
 
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

 
Isaiah 35:1-2a

 

Seen any crocusses lately?


See also: Theme: Do not lose heart (Prayer sheet)
 

Testing ground


(Photo: Lindy Twaddle)

 
The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery has a lengthy entry on Wilderness, ending with the following summary:

“… the wilderness is an ambivalent image in the Bible. If it is a place of deprivation, danger, attack and punishment, it is also the place where God delivers his people, provides for them and reveals himself.”

 
Some of this tension is found in this short reading that ties together the baptism and temptation of Jesus, with the Holy Spirit playing an active role in both:

Mark 1:9-13: The Baptism and Testing of Jesus

9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’

12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.


Litany for Lent

Because temptation is woven into the fabric of our lives,
and we know the weariness of forty days in the desert,
and the beckoning power of sweet fruit,
and the vain promises of the world,
we need you, God.
We need you, God.

Because we see the broken before the whole,
and the half empty cup, and the unfinished task,
and the thirst in freedom’s quest,
we need you, God.
We need you, God.

Because we trust in what we can see,
and we are blinded by our prejudices,
and we do not know what we do not know,
we need you, God.
We need you, God.

Because our need for correctness exceeds our need for truth,
and our excuses preempt the cry of the wounded,
and our celebration of blessing is mindless of those displaced,
we need you, God.
We need you, God.

Because you came among us,
and breathed into our sinewy souls,
and healed our pain and let us wound you,
and loved us to the end,
and triumphed over all our hatred,
we need you, God.
We need you, God.

written by Katherine Hawker (inspired by Iona Community Worship Book, 2002). Posted on Ponderings


From the blog
see also Theme: Ever sustaining (Prayer sheet)
 

Wild hope #2


Shaped by the wind  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 
I wonder: What is the relationship between hope and waiting? Maybe Psalm 130 can give us some clues.

Psalm 130 features on a CD called Send us a Friend that I made with Friends and Neighbours in 2013. The song is called “My soul waits for the Lord”. It’s in English and in Dutch. I’ve included a link below.

Psalm 130

A song of ascents.

1  Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2  Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

3  If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

5  I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6  I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

7  Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8  He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.


My soul waits for the Lord

My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning
Watchmen for the morning
My soul waits for the Lord.
For with Him there is mercy.
Hope in Him.

Mijn ziel wacht op de Heer
meer dan wachters op de morgen
Wachters op de morgen
Mijn ziel wacht op de Heer
Want bij Hem is genade
Altijd weer.

 
Backstory

The Dutch verse came first. It was surprisingly easy to translate into English – all except for the last line, “Altijd weer”.

“Altijd weer” means “every time again – when and as you need God’s mercy”. There’s no 3-syllable way of saying that in English, so eventually I chose “Hope in Him.”


See also Wild hope #1