The Joy of the Resurrection

They went out and proclaimed the message everywhere. The Lord worked with them, confirming the word by the signs associated with them.

Mark 16:20

This is the very end of the Gospel of St. Mark that we’ve been reading on Fridays for most of the year. In this one final chapter, the resurrection takes place and the joyous events of Jesus’ appearing to his friends and giving final instructions before Jesus goes to heaven.

Just as we have so often done with the Gospel, place yourself alongside Mary Magdalene and the other women as they go out to anoint Jesus body—to finish something they were unable to do the day of the crucifixion. Feel their immense surprise and then the mounting joy of discovering that Jesus is alive and is showing his glorious self to many of his friends. Get inside their feelings of joy until they become your own feelings.

This is the last week in God’s year of grace. It’s been a wonderful journey and movement of God’s grace. It’s going to begin again in Advent, just two days from now! So get ready for another wondrous cycle of God sharing with us, not only who God is, but who we are in God’s sight. Stay faithful to God’s Word each day and you’ll know of God’s wonderful love and all that God wants to share with you.

Mark 16

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Good news to all creation v. 15
For more information about
this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the last week in the season of Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north. Year B.
Fridays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
We read the Gospel of Mark in Year B.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

God’s Word: Sweet and Sour

So I went to the angel and told him to give me the scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will make you sick to your stomach,
but sweet as honey in your mouth.”

Revelation: 10:9

You will have to slow up your imagination to catch all the strong images that John unfolds for us in his visions. Just as in yesterday’s psalm about good and evil and about which one is going to win, so too the verses of these chapters share similar stories, though much more grand and big.

Let’s take the image of eating the scroll which we find in 10:9-11. When we read the Bible each day, it really is like eating it! We are meant not only to take the words in our mind, but into our whole body and person as well. Just as in the case of Holy Communion, so also when we read God’s Word with great attention, this Word enters us completely and can change us. At first, says John, there is a sweetness to it, like honey. But then, as the Word really gets inside us, the challenge to our lives and to our call to be witness to God can move us so much that it might feel like food upsetting the stomach.

There’s a swing from sweet and sour with God’s Word….But then again, there’s a sauce for Chinese food that deliberately is sweet and sour for the enjoyment of eating certain foods. So really, the sweet and sour aspects of God’s Word blends into an overall great enjoyment, for the sourness becomes the joy of God’s power and triumph soon to come, just as happens in the glorious ending of the reading for today.

Revelation 10—11

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
The scroll—both bitter and sweet 10:9
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.

This is the last week in the season of Kingtomtide,
autumn in the north Year B.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
In this season we are reading 1st and 2nd Thessalonians.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

Etchings on the Heart

When the cares of my heart are many,
    your consolations cheer my soul.

Psalm 94:19

Remember the days when we made sandcastles in the sand? Perhaps you made a big one just this past summer. The first step is to clear the space with your arm, making a smooth area where footsteps had been.

When you begin to read God’s Word, clear a space for yourself by silence, stillness, focusing your attention on what you are about to read, just as you would focus a camera. Then as you begin to read, it is as though the finger of God is beginning to make etchings against the silent space you have prepared.

Practice this with today’s psalm. You’ll be able to feel the pain of the sacred writer who first shares with God the meanness of the world and how bad people are so often out to harm the weak and innocent. The psalm stirs these feelings of longing that God do something about all the injustice in the world. And God will! So as you read the verses that speak about God coming to the rescue of the innocent, feel the joy of the writer as he gets in touch with his great faith in God.

Talking about etchings…You can do this in your journal by writing on its paper or typing into your computer. It will be as though God is etching his wisdom and love upon your heart!

Psalm 94

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Your kindness cheering my soul. v. 19
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the last week in Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north. Year B
Wednesdays are dedicated the Psalms.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…