Discerning our purpose as Christians

Staff_Delony, LenCasey Langley, early in her wonderful sermon on the Second Sunday in Easter, said in a quote attributed to Mark Twain, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

As Christians, the first part relates well to Easter and baptism, and are pretty much about a personal and communal realization of “the day we are re-born” in God’s Spirit of Love. That second important part, “finding out why,” might happen in a moment, but how we live that out is more of a life-long journey . . .

Our recent, amazing Easter crescendo after the 40+ days of Lent is not an ending, therefore. It is more like a new beginning, asking, “Now, how do we live into our new purpose? . . . ”

Discerning our purpose as Christians . . . our vocations as individuals, and our missions as a community, are life-long adventures. But how we live into these questions needs to be discerned through our breathing intentionally in the present moments along the way . . . We can and need to take moments of silence or “prayerful pauses” every day (perhaps especially when it is most difficult.) We need to take “mini retreats” to breathe deeply the gift of God’s Peace so we might discern, and have the clarity and courage to respond boldly to God’s guidance . . .

Yesterday in a Sunday School Class, in 10:30 Chapel Communion and in the 11:11 Worship Service, I read this quote by Richard Rohr from his book Silent Compassion that we used in our Wednesday Lenten Groups:

“What I have experienced during my longer Lenten retreats is that time actually increases inside of silence. It feels like time is “coming to fullness,” as the New Testament says, time beyond time. It shifts from each successive moment of chronological time, from the Greek chronos, to kairos or momentous time, when one moment is as perfect as it can be, when it is all right here, right now, it is enough.”

God’s grace is enough. God’s love is always where we begin again . . .  and we will be amazed by the surprisingly efficient and healing ways of the Spirit . . .

At the beginning of Lent, I recorded for this blog the Prayer of Saint Francis, repeated several times in the manner of “Lectio Divina”, the spiritual practice that goes back 1500 years. (Here are some links to learn more with a helpful guide to explore this ancient way of “sacred reading”):
Upper Room Daily Reflections: Lectio Divina
Centering Prayer: Lectio Divina

Now, as we move into Eastertide and toward Pentecost, I invite you to listen deeply to this beautiful version of the Prayer of Saint Francis sung by our own Jeff Donahue on Good Friday during the Labyrinth Prayer Walk in Wesley Hall . . . And let it help you remember God’s guiding and abiding love as you continue on the sacred journey.

Jeff Donahue singing the Prayer of Saint Francis

Peace be with you all along the way . . .

Len

 

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