Further up and further in

God in the Everyday

This weekend we hear from an SMC member Michelle Freitas who shared a powerful personal story about stopping to listen to God within during the everyday moments. She stressed a few things that are worth recapping:
When asked to tell a story of our faith journey, we can get nervous if it isn’t centered around some kind of a “mountain top” experience. What we really need is to be intentional about carving out time to silence ourselves and still our bodies and minds to hear God. After all, Jesus says “the kingdom of God is within you.” We should begin to cultivate the practice of looking for God who dwells within us and being attentive to the Divine voice, often gentle and subtle, but longing to hear from us. Think of is, as Michelle put it, as “taking time to visit with an old friend whom you can’t wait to see.”
With that in mind, we were challenged in Sunday’s program session to take one minute to share our story with a friend sitting next to us. For some it’s easy and for others it’s hard.
But think about it. What if someone asked you—a friend or a stranger at the grocery store—why you come to church or practice a certain spiritual path? Have you thought about what you’d say?
Michelle gave us a tip: Think about what in your spiritual life makes your heart full. Talk about that. Talk about what fills your heart to overflowing (that’s the Holy Spirit!) and start there. God will do the rest.
You won’t want to miss this coming Sunday 10/15 @ 9:10 in the chapel. We are going to pray intensely and intentionally, renew the promises of our baptism, and pray with each other using the ancient form of laying-on-of-hands to ask for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives and on our parish. Come, Holy Spirit!

Posted by Gabe Giella with

Daily prayer and meditation for Life in the Spirit - 2

Life in the Spirit continues.  Here is the second set of daily meditations and Bible verses for study and contemplation through the week.

Day 1: We find ourselves in a world with some real problems: inequality, racism, exploitation.  In others and in ourselves we see depression, anxiety, boredom, suspicion, and hate.  God didn't create the world this way.  God promised...

"They will reshape their swords into harvest-tools and nations shall not raise a weapon against another nation.  I will gather them all and bring them together."      Micah 4:1

Day 2: There are many human plans that promise to save us and the world.  Power, money, beauty, possessions.  God says...

"As high as the sky is above the earth, so high are my ways above yours and my thoughts above your thoughts."   Isaiah 55:9

Day 3: We need more than human ideas and power  We need the power of God's transforming love, because even evil can seem more powerful than us.  God says...

"It's not against human enemies where the real struggle is, but against the power of evil in the world."   Ephesians 6:12

Day 4:  Jesus shows us the way to freedom by his teaching and example.  He also tells us that God wants abundant life for us.

"Martha said to Jesus, 'If you had been here my brother wouldn't have died, but I know that God will grant you what you ask.'  Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life...whoever believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?'  'Yes, Lord,' she said, 'I believe you are Christ, God's Son, the one who has come into the world.'"  John 11:21

Day 5:  By dying and rising Jesus shows us that self-emptying is the path to freedom and new life.

"By his wounds we are healed."  Isaiah 53:4

Day 6: The resurrection of Jesus reveals God's power over the darkness in our lives and even over the finality of death.  God can give you a whole new life, if you're willing to name what you need to let go of.  

"God has taken us out of the power of darkness, where we gain freedom and forgiveness."   Colossians 1:13-1

Posted by Gabe Giella with