Weekend Daybook: some heartwarming things

Seven days of collecting what I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) photo from this week

February.Adiel's Art Show1.jpg

On February 13, we attended the Exhibit Opening for our friend Adiel Dominguez. His first show and it was impressive! You can see (and purchase) his work here.


(2) projects I’ve been up to

  1. Ash Wednesday is March 6, and that means It’s time to talk about Lent! (That might not feel exciting, necessarily, but it still warrants a couple !!) I put together a substantial post about why and how we practice Lent: Lent begins in 2 weeks! [Lent Daybook explained] I’m working on a follow-up post of recommended resources for Lent, but don’t get too hung up on needing the right things. Lent is mostly about the Church’s heart toward God and God’s heart toward you.

  2. I added another segment to a series of Spiritual practice stories on Instagram: Becoming Secure in the Father’s Love. I fully intended to write a blog series during Epiphany on spiritual practices that have been life-giving for me. It didn’t happen on the blog for a variety of time-related reasons, but I’ve been grateful for the IG platform to share what I’m learning and to hear back from you. Even if you don’t have an Instagram account, I believe you can also view what I’ve shared about the practice of silence and noticing without judgement.

Click on the photo to see my 15-minute talk on Becoming Secure in the Father’s Love.

Click on the photo to see my 15-minute talk on Becoming Secure in the Father’s Love.


(3) reminders that God loves us even when it’s the end of February in the Northeast

  1. These stunning photographs of frozen trees in snow.

  2. If this doesn’t warm your heart, you might be dead.

  3. If beautiful photos and heartwarming stories aren’t doing the trick, here’s some science to help you get through the rest of winter.


(4) reasons to be encouraged about being a person who goes to church

  1. My friend Amy (who also happens to be the Children’s Ministry Director at our church) wrote a note about how much she’s been enjoying teaching our 4th-6th graders even though it’s been a reminder that “What every teen knows, however, is that the church is not cool. The good news is that the church does not have to be cool to be relevant. What the church has is Jesus, and he is enough.” See the rest of her note here. And take heart!

  2. On the subject of children, here are three simple but profound ways to help your kids soak in the Scripture. via The Homely Hours

  3. Be glad that this exists, and receive their wisdom. via Anglican Multi-Ethnic Network (AMEN)

  4. These weeks of Epiphany are all about the world-shaking truths Jesus spoke in what we call the Beatitudes. Would that world leaders read and follow what this Vietnamese church leader’s written: The 8 Beatitudes of the Politician . H/T: Global Christian Worship


(5) meaningful, thoughtful, nuanced pieces on current events

  1. What Local Government Should Do in the Wake of Amazon’s HQ2 via StrongTowns

  2. A Spot of Good News in the Ebola Crisis: Vaccine Supplies Are Expected to Last via Stat News (This IS good news! Here’s something I wrote for Think Christian in 2014 when the news about the Ebola crisis was much bleaker: Balancing Vigilance and Providence in the Face of Ebola ),

  3. In Black History Month and every month, there are so many stories to celebrate. Here’s a small, but profound moment: Marian Anderson’s ‘defiant performance’ at the Lincoln Memorial.

  4. I no longer refer to myself as Pro-Life, but Consistent Life. It’s pieces like this that help me think through biases and double standards of both political platforms: The Price of Violence: When Dehumanizing the Vulnerable Hurts One’s Own Causes (Here’s a related piece I wrote for TC in 2017: Making Space for Pro-Life Feminists.)

  5. Let’s remember Venezuela.


That’s all I’ve got for today. I’m off to Boston today for a meeting with my Spiritual Direction supervisor. May you enjoy some good company and conversation this weekend, friends.

I’ll leave with you this painting of a moose doing yoga.

Peace,

Tamara

Lent begins in 2 weeks! [Lent Daybook explained]

Lent is not intended to be an annual ordeal during which we begrudgingly forgo a handful of pleasures. It is meant to be the church’s springtime, a time when, out of the darkness of sin’s winter, a repentant, empowered people emerges.

Put another way, Lent is the season in which we ought to be surprised by joy. Our self-sacrifices serve no purpose unless, by laying aside this or that desire, we are able to focus on our heart’s deepest longing: unity with Christ. In him—in his suffering and death, his resurrection and triumph—we find our truest joy.
— Dorothy Sayers, Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6. Have you thought about participating this year?

Why Lent?

No season of the liturgical year has been more formative in my healing journey than Lent. While, my religious background trained me well in the reality of sin, death, and crucifixion, it did not provide much in the way of liturgical or devotional practices for lament, grief, and confession.

In my experience, this dissonance between teaching and practice fostered a sentimental approach to Jesus' life, death and resurrection, which produced Christians stunted in their ability to experience or empathize with suffering. In this view, the cross becomes a photoshopped decoration hanging in the background of a Church resistant to the invitations of the Suffering Servant who longs to save us in our suffering, and make us completely new in resurrection.  

Of course, personal and global suffering permeate every day of our lives in one way or another. We live in a broken body on a broken earth, and the Church calendar doesn't intend for us to ignore the entire spectrum of human suffering and joy based on the liturgical season. Instead, the cycle of fasting and feasting, celebration and lament provides practice, piece by piece, to form us wholly as Christians. Through each season, we meditate specific portions of Scripture year after year to learn the whole story of God and His people, and not just the portions with which we are most comfortable.  

When we celebrate the liturgical seasons, we grow not only in our knowledge of Scripture, but we learn also how to embody its life-giving truth. In the wisdom of our Church fathers and mothers - themselves informed by the collective memory of millenia of Jewish feasts and fasts initiated by the Creator - each liturgical season marks itself with daily, physical practices.  

We are not disembodied spirits just gritting our teeth until we are released from these bodies, like an unwanted overcoat, when we die. Nor are we merely defined by the physical matter that just happen to contain a spiritual being for those who care about those things. In the accounts of the Incarnated Christ we read through Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, we discover year after year a Christ, God made Man, who is not either body or spirit, but both body and spirit. During Lent, Eastertide and Pentecost, we set up camp for longer periods of time in each essential part of our being: body and spirit.  

Because my calling to Jesus lasts a lifetime, I need to think about growth in repentance over many years, not just one Lenten season. As Eugene Peterson said, we are called to practice ‘a long obedience in the same direction.’ As I practice repentance—the turning of my whole self to God—it’s obvious I will need a lifetime of Lenten seasons to mature into the likeness of Christ.
— Jack King, Anglican Pastor blog

Lent is a 40 day lesson in what it means to be bodies cursed by death and decay. If you've ever received the cross-shaped ash on your forehead, you've heard the pastoral reminder of a very real, and very sad state in which we find ourselves: Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

From Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, we follow the account of Christ as he makes His way to the Cross. In Epiphany, we encounter the light of divinity dwelling on Christ, inviting us to join Him as the light of the world. In Lent, we recognize and mourn the curse of sin and death that has separated man from God, even as we are invited to carry our cross and follow Christ on the road of suffering. We grow in humility and gratitude with the Lenten practice of remembering that once we were alienated from God and lived as people with no hope, and we seek mercy for those still living in that state.

There's so much joy to be found in humility. If you haven't ever fully entered into the practice of Lent, would you consider joining me this year? May I encourage you that this doesn't need to be (and probably shouldn't) be complicated.  

So, it needs to be said that Lent is about dying. But it also needs to be said that Lent is about asking God to bring about new life in us. We are a people who have died with the Lord Jesus Christ in the waters of Baptism and have been raised with him to newness of life. This is not a one-time occurence, but beginning there – continues through one’s life. When we fast, it is about desires and impulses dying in us, to make room for new life. When we give something up, it is to make room for something else – something better, something good, something life-giving.
— Fr. Lee Nelson, Anglican Pastor blog
Lenten wreath.jpg

 

Here are a few essential practices for a faithful Lent:

1.  Attend an Ash Wednesday service.  

2. Make a simple commitment to participate in three historical practices of the Church throughout the 40 days of Lent:

  • Fasting

  • Praying

  • Almsgiving

We have followed this pattern in a variety of ways throughout the past nine years we've been practicing Lent. While there’ve been years we've practiced a more severe fast (e.g., all sugar, alcohol, processed foods, and television), perhaps the most beneficial years are the ones we chose one or two things to give up. We've also learned to take up practices in their place. For example, you might choose to give up eating an entire meal (or day of meals), and in place, set aside extended time for prayer or meditation. You might fast from a certain technological device while taking up reading, walking, or letter-writing in its place.

The point is to make space in our lives to give up reliance on one thing in order to grow in dependence on Christ.

3. Choose a daily devotional guide. I’d be honored for you to choose my annual Lent Daybook devotional posts which you can read about in more detail below. We also enjoy a variety of other devotional books which you can read about here.  

4. We light candles, look at art, sing hymns, pray and read Scripture together. We try to do this every day, but we average more like 4 out of 7 days. My best tip for you if your family feels awkward doing this? Turn the lights off! There's nothing like sitting in the dark looking at a few flickering candles to break the ice of awkward family Bible time.

Eastertide.7.JPG

How to enjoy Lent Daybook posts: Look, Listen, Read, Pray, & Do

Each day of Lent (March 6 - April 20) I’ll publish a devotional post. The Lent Daybook posts leading up to Holy Week will include a work of art, song, daily Scripture passages, a short prayer, and a simple activity to help you practice the prayerful days of Lent. During Holy Week, I’ll publish the seventh annual series, Retrieve Lament. Each year, I ask friends to share a "mourning story" from their own life as a way to help us see Christ in the midst of suffering.

Look

Some might call this devotional practice of visual contemplation Visio Divina, or a divine looking. It’s not the actual work of art that is divine, but the Holy Spirit’s invitation to encounter Christ through nonverbal reflection. Throughout the year I collect digital images that I think will enhance the Scriptural themes of Lent. You’ll notice that some of the images evoke traditional scenes of the Passion of Christ, while others seem to have nothing to do with the traditional images of the season. The images rotate through classic and contemporary art of all media. Each week I include an image (usually a photograph) from news headlines of the year. My hope is that the Scripture passages for each day orient the visual art selection and sometimes, honestly, that’s a difficult task.

Listen

Most of the songs I share each day are worship songs and contemporary versions of old classic hymns, but each week I try to mix in a classical instrumental or choral arrangement. Lent is particularly suited to highlight the rich canon of old Spirituals and Gospel songs. Paradoxically, mainstream pop, rock, indie, and country catalogues are chock full of songs the reflect the weariness and anxiety of living in a broken world so you’ll hear some of them, too! I try to select quality recordings and include both a Spotify and YouTube version for your convenience. Since the music is chosen to enhance the visual art, my family chooses to play the music as a backdrop for contemplating the image. You might choose to do each separately. I also include a link to lyrics for each song so you can sing along if you’d like!

If you love seasonal playlists as much as I do, here’s links to all five (5!) of my Lenten playlists. Add any of the lists to your Spotify account by clicking ‘Follow.’

Lent 2019 on Spotify:

Read

Oh my goodness, I love the lectionary. I’ve always been intrigued by the interweaving of Old and New Testaments for the beauty of the literary rhythms as well as the deep satisfaction of experiencing the living, breathing word of God that looks backwards and forwards at the same time. It’s so rich. If you don’t do anything else with the posts I send each day, read the Scripture passages. I include a link for the complete lectionary passages each day and then excerpt the portions that particularly spoke to me as I was preparing the post. I use the English Standard Version most often, but if you click through the link to the Biblegateway page, you can adjust the version to your preference.

From March 6 - April 13, Sunday Scripture readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year C). Daily Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 1) with only one or two of the daily Psalms.

Starting on Palm Sunday, April 14, we’ll shift away from the lectionary to focus on the litany of last words Jesus spoke from the cross; we refer to them as the Seven Last Words of Christ. The deathbed words of the Suffering Servant provide a framework for the stories of lament I’ve asked seven friends to share with us from their own life experiences of grief. This is a highlight of the year for me on the blog and 2019 is our seventh year helping each other retrieve a Christlike lament for the brokenness of our lives and world.

Pray

Each week the prayers are formed around the Sunday collect (prayer said by the congregation in Sunday worship). While you could pray directly from the daily Scripture (especially the Psalms) or the hymn lyrics, I include a guided prayer for each day. Once a week, I invite you to a form of intercessory prayer termed “Prayers of the People” from the Book of Common Prayer. This allows us to set aside at least one day to remember each sphere of our world with particular prayer from your context.

Do

The spiritual practice of contemplation, at its best, moves between stillness and thoughtful action. We were made by a Creator to love Him, our neighbors, and ourselves with heart, mind, soul, and strength. I’m delighted to invite you to some simple, daily actions to demonstrate that love outwardly. Some of the activities will feel familiar to the traditional Lenten customs of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, and some will feel new and counterintuitive. It’s all good.

A Lenten Community

When I first started this series, I was compelled to create something I’d been looking for and couldn’t find online. While I own and enjoy several printed beautiful devotional books for Lent and Eastertide, I was intrigued by the idea of a multi-media, shared experience that can be cultivated online. Since then, many new and wonderful resources release each year. It’s tempting to dabble in each one, but I encourage you to find what works best for you and to simply, prayerfully walk through each day with intentional companions. I’m honored to be included in your Lenten journey.

I’ve also known from the beginning that I wanted this to be a free offering. The ability to access a world of beauty for free on the internet literally changed my life. I want to be part of that free stream, and since I’m mostly curating the work of other people I encourage you to click through the source links to purchase their art. If you’re appreciating the posts and would like to support my work on the website, I’ve include a PayPal “tip jar” on the blog page and in the bottom of some of the Lent posts - (paypal.me/TamaraHillMurphy).

Join Us!

Conversation makes a community so please comment here on the blog or social media regularly! Let me know how you’re experiencing God’s invitation through the Lent Daybook posts or any other part of your day. I love to hear from you.

  • Instagram - I’ll be sharing the daily posts as well as occasional Stories at the blog’s Instagram account. If you’re on Instagram, you can follow me there.

  • Facebook - I’ll link the daily posts. In order to make sure you see each post, you'll need to "like" the page and click on the "Following" button and then the "On" option in the drop-down box.

  • Twitter - I’m not very active, but I do cross-link the daily posts for those of you who like to hang out there.

  • Subscribe via Email - I’m looking forward to spending the next coming weeks together. If you’d like to receive the daily posts in your email inbox, subscribe with your email below. (You don’t need to do this if you already receive posts via email.)

A Holy Lent to you and yours. Lord, have mercy on us all.


What are some traditions you keep to help you slow down and pay attention to the presence of God in the days leading up to Holy Week and Easter?  Comment below - I'm listening!

*Please note that, in an effort to be a good steward of time and resources for our family, this post includes affiliate links.  When you purchase any item you click through from these links, you'll pay the same amount, but we'll get a few pennies in our coffers.Thank you!*

Epiphany +6: Blessing and Woe

Look: Sermon on the Mount (detail), Henrik Olrik

( source )

The season after Epiphany is winding down. In less than two weeks, we’ll begin Lent which puts us 40 days with Jesus on the road to the cross. Epiphany means more to me this year than in the past. It may be because it’s been a long season compared to some years. With Easter being later in the calendar we get to celebrate Epiphany for a full eight weeks this year.

The Gospel accounts of Epiphany show God being revealed through Christ more openly than ever as Jesus begins his three years of intentional ministry. This year I can’t get enough of them. I’m captivated by the paradox of Jesus as both the Son of God and the Son of Man.

In the article, What’s the Good News In the Season After Epiphany? , the author encapsulates the message of Epiphany: I’m here, says Jesus. Yes, and this hasn’t changed.

We often say that Jesus completed all the work God gave him to do from the manger to the cross. That’s true. The season of Epiphany adds technicolor dimension to the tiny preposition “to”. We meditate on the manger in Advent and Christmastide. We reflect on the cross in Lent and Eastertide. Epiphany is for the in between, and maybe that’s why I find it so enthralling. We live in the in between, in the “to” between the first coming to the second.

This week and next we are invited by the lectionary to listen again to Jesus preaching the earth-shattering truth of the Sermon on the Mount. May we welcome this shattering to our lives between law and grace, earth and heaven, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man. From today to the world without end. Amen.


Listen: “Beatitudes”, from Live at Carnegie Hall, Sweet Honey In The Rock

Spotify | YouTube

Listen to my entire playlist on Spotify: Epiphany - Beatitudes. Add it to your account by clicking ‘Follow.’


Thus says the Lord:
’Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.

’Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.’

*

”He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”

*

”And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

*

”And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

“Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.

“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
— Jeremiah 17:5-8 * Psalm 1:3-4 * 1 Corinthians 15:17-20 * Luke 6:20-26 (ESV)

Sunday Scripture readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year C). Daily Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 1), using the Psalm selections for Morning Prayer.


Pray:

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer, Collect for Sixth Sunday After Epiphany

Do:

Bless each person you encounter

Silently or aloud, no matter the person and no matter the context

Practicing the Sermon on the Mount”, by Richard Foster:

“In the “beatitudes” Jesus takes up various kinds and classes of people that in his day were thought to be unblessed and unblessable, and he shows how the Kingdom of God is available to them and how they too can be blessed. No wonder the poor heard him gladly! As the Simon and Garfunkel song goes, “Blessed are the sat upon, spat upon, ratted on.”

In The Divine Conspiracy Dallas Willard gives contemporary expression to these “unblessed and unblessable-–the physically repulsive … the bald, the fat, and the old … the flunk-outs and drop-outs and burned outs. The broke and the broken. The drug heads and the divorced. The HIV-positive and herpes-ridden. The brain-damaged, the incurable ill. The barren and the pregnant too-many-times or the wrong time. The overemployed, the underemployed, the unemployed. The unemployable. The swindled, the shoved aside, the replaced… .” (pp. 123-124).

Ask yourself: How can I make the kingdom of God available to individuals who are humanly hopeless? Then as you go about your days, learn to take time to point out the natural beauty of every human being.”

You can find other activities for Epiphany at this post: 12+ Ways To Keep Celebrating With the Rest of the World (loads of links)


(See all Epiphany Daybook posts from 2018 here.)

Weekend Daybook: listening, resting, reading, and practicing edition

Seven days of collecting what I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) photo from this week

on a study and reflection retreat this week and the timing couldn't be more perfect. Also: thank you,  @roseberrytea , for the loan of your Irish Book of Common Prayer. We've been enjoying it for each of the Offices!

on a study and reflection retreat this week and the timing couldn't be more perfect. Also: thank you, @roseberrytea, for the loan of your Irish Book of Common Prayer. We've been enjoying it for each of the Offices!


(2) songs on repeat

  1. Jesus, See the Traveler, Sara & Ruby Groves

  2. The Kingdom Is Yours, Dee Wilson & Brittney Spencer (lyrics and chord chart here)

 

(3) projects I’ve been working on

  1. Spiritual practice stories on Instagram - I fully intended to write a blog series during Epiphany on spiritual practices that have been life-giving for me. It didn’t happen on the blog for a variety of time-related reasons, but I’ve been grateful for the IG platform to share what I’m learning and to hear back from you. Even if you don’t have an Instagram account, I believe you can view what I’ve shared about the practice of silence and noticing without judgement.

  2. Last weekend we facilitated a weekend intensive for those seeking inner healing for relational, emotional, or sexual wounds. I had the privilege not only of caring for a small group of women, but also speaking on the subjects , “How Jesus on the Cross Bears the Sins Committed Against Us (our wounds)” and “Becoming Secure in the Father’s Love”. I’m hoping to share a tiny portion of that teaching in an Instagram story this week. You can read a portion of my own journey toward healing in this post I wrote during Holy Week last year.

  3. I’ve been posting the lectionary readings along with art, music, prayer, and suggested practices each Sunday in Epiphany. I’ve gained a deep affection for this season in the church calendar. I love reflecting on the groundbreaking teaching of Christ as the world first got to hear him represent the Father.


(4) meaningful conversations during Black History month

  1. This account is full of beauty, truth, and goodness. Don’t miss it: Black Coffee With White Friends on IG

  2. Perhaps the most helpful resource yet to help me understand the meaning of “whiteness”: Can “White” People be Saved: Reflections on Missions and Whiteness | Willie Jennings via Fuller Studio. Explore more on the complex intersection of race, politics, and society.

  3. Sad, convicting truth told in love: To All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep by Andre Henry

  4. In 1963, more than a dozen African American girls, including Carol Barner-Seay, Shirley Reese, Diane Bowens, and Verna Hollis, were arrested for protesting segregation in Americus, Georgia. At StoryCorps, they remember being held in a small makeshift jail for nearly two months.


(5) books I’m reading

  1. (Re) reading for Epiphany with Apostles Reads: Walking On Water: Reflections on Faith & Art by Madeleine L’Engle.

  2. I read the devastatingly beautiful The Sparrow five years ago and am finally getting to the sequel: Children of God by Mary Doria Russell.

  3. A big part of my final assignments for my spiritual director certification: The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGinn.

  4. Brian gave this to me for Christmas 2017 and I lost track of it for over a year! Glad to finally be enjoying Word by Word: A Daily Spiritual Practice by Marilyn McEntyre.

  5. A beautiful book on the essence of my work: Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction by Margaret Guenther


(6) meaningful perspectives on current events

  1. Please don’t miss this one - Gary Haugen, president and founder of International Justice Mission, speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast and demonstrates how to speak truth to power - with the U.S. president sitting two people away - to speak truth with self-differentiated, non-anxious authority. I want to memorize this speech and repeat it to myself daily.

  2. I’m done letting anger separate me from pro-life work. Simcha Fisher steps up to speak on my behalf.

  3. A Debt to Education via Plough - With four kids just finished or trying to finish degrees, this one hit home. Help us, God … “All debt forms us, but it’s important to recognize how student debt shapes our conception of ourselves and our society.”

  4. Related - The Fleecing of Millenials via NYT . (and when, oh when, will someone have the integrity of intelligence to include the economic effect of abortion in this list of things economically screwing the millenial generation?!?)

  5. On the subject of quality of life for all - Why Conservatives Should Oppose the Death Penalty via American Conservative. “The state is not God, and capital punishment is not infallible.”

  6. While the government argues budgetary earmarking for Immigration Reform, let Christians consider this: How Does the Bible Orient Us Toward Immigration? The recordings at this link include the every plenary session with Dr. Danny Carroll that Brian and I attended with clergy from our diocese this past November. If I were pope for the day, I’d make it required listening for every church in the U.S. right now.


Emmett's Baby Shower1.jpeg

6 years ago

Decorating our house in Austin for our godson Emmett’s baby shower. (Our friends Blake & Krista made this gorgeous book page wreath for the book-themed shower.)


May your weekend include some rest and some fun with friends and family. Peace...

p.s. This post may contain affiliate links because I'm trying to be a good steward, and when you buy something through one of these links you don't pay more money, but in some magical twist of capitalism we get a little pocket change. Thanks!

Epiphany +5: Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

Look: The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, Eugene Delacroix

( source )

Not much time to add commentary this week, but can I just say that I had fun curating a U2 cover with a 19th-century painting as way to imagine Peter and the others searching for fish and coming up empty. Then taking Jesus at his word and casting their nets again….


Listen: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” from For Freedom: A Covers EP, Jenny & Tyler, featuring Sara Groves

Spotify | YouTube

Listen to my entire playlist on Spotify: Epiphany - Come, Follow. Add it to your account by clicking ‘Follow.’


“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

*

”I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.”

*

”For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”

*

”On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
— Isaiah 6:1-8 * Psalm 138:1-3 * 1 Corinthians 15:9-11 * Luke 5:1-11 (ESV)

Sunday Scripture readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year C). Daily Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 1), using the Psalm selections for Morning Prayer.


Pray:

Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer, Collect for the Fifth Sunday After Epiphany

Do:

Be still

In today’s Old and New Testament passages we see the reaction of those who’ve encountered the voice of Christ. The reflex for both Isaiah and Peter is worship and then action. Set your time for 5 minutes and sit in quiet - no music, no words, no language. Don’t be discourage when distracting thoughts interrupt; consider repeating the words of Isaiah, “Here am I. Send me.” Take a few deep breaths and repeat as necessary. Try this as many days this week as you are able.

You can find other activities for Epiphany at this post: 12+ Ways To Keep Celebrating With the Rest of the World (loads of links)


(See all Epiphany Daybook posts from 2018 here.)