Sunday September 24: Justice in the Kingdom of God

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  • Sunday September 24: Justice in the Kingdom of God
    • Posted by pbegeman on September 22, 2023 at 4:06 pm #137856

      To Practice 

      • In his book, A Monk in the World, Wayne Teasdale reflects on how to evolve a caring heart: “One simple but effective way to develop compassion is to intend it each day – to think of it and reflect on its nature as a part of you, part of all of us. Our compassion is a fruit of our spiritual lives; it actually arises spontaneously when formed by intention in our spiritual practice.” Each day this week, prayerfully intend to be a compassionate, listening presence. What do you learn?
      • Compassion is another word for charity, for agape love. Join in a global community wishing to create, magnify and offer the transforming energy of utmost charity to our struggling and suffering world. The e-retreat Utmost Charity: A Call to Deeper Love, starts this Monday September 25. For more information and to register, go here.

      If you would like to re-read this week’s reflection, you may do so here:


    • Posted by Thomas Lloyd on September 24, 2023 at 3:32 pm #137895

      Scripture is so powerful and I don’t even have to be a scripture scholar to get the message and use it in my life. But first I have to tell you a story. We went out to dinner last night with our youngest child and our son is now 55, succcessful, happily married, with a beautiful wife, and four beautiful daughters. When he was a child and being beaten in achievements by his older sister and two older brothers, he was not feeling like the spoiled youngest. So I took him aside one day to give him a little affirmation. I took the scripture reading out of context and told him that Jesus said the last shall be first. I said don’t take it from me, this comes from God, and it is right here in the Bible. He took that as his motto and would spout it off to his older siblings whenever he felt the need. In scripture, I have always found whatever I needed in life. It may be only one line that becomes our mantra. My mantra is a very popular one “God is love and whoever dwells in love dwells in God and God dwells in that person.” (Unfortunately I have to work very hard at loving because I am not a loving person by nature. I am blessed with the gift of Faith but not Love.) Today’s reading reminds me of God’s generosity. It knows no bounds! It is not limited by human limitations. It is unlimited love and unconditional love. It is ours for the asking when we drop to our knees. Today’s gospel tells us what God is really like. God’s love for us is beyond all that we think we know about God. Gotta love that line “the last shall be first.” There is hope for all of us when we don’t put human limitations on the God who is limitless.

    • Posted by Kathleen M. Kelly on September 24, 2023 at 6:53 pm #137903

      Like Thomas, the line stood out for me: The first shall be last and the last shall be first.
      A little background. I was raised in a traditional. Upper middle class family with parents striving to have Daddy be a success in his company. My older sister was in the junior league and married to a Harvard trained lawyer. Early on , (age 12) I volunteered at a children’s home and made it my lifelong mission to advocate for “my kids”. I wanted to be anything but a society girl.

      Now, present: yesterday , my husband and I were at a gathering where one of the members of a connected family began a conversation with four of us about how terrible a man and his wife were who had been invited but hadn’t arrived (yet). When the couple finally came, the husband of the lady who started the criticizing, said to my husband: let’s get out of here so we don’t have to be with them.

      ordinarily , I would fume, and later criticize them. But, the prayer rises up that those people who are rich and above everyone else will be brought low so they will be open to God’ loving care. That they will know firsthand the blessing of being poor in spirit.

      Today: resentment gone; care and concern replaces it.

    • Posted by Susan Kenney on September 25, 2023 at 10:19 am #137942

      “Come ride with me.”  A few trips on a Paratransit bus will introduce you to a different world. It is a world of wheelchairs and walkers, dialysis patients and accident victims. A world of unexpected and unwanted delays, bumpy rides and slow moving traffic. It is also a world of resiliency, skilled and patient drivers, laughter and tears. It is a world that can be depressing and uplifting at the same time. Most passengers did not choose their limitations, their lack of mobility and independence. But many find a way to live full and courageous lives. My limitations are modest but real and sometimes tiring. Almost without fail, there will be a passenger, a driver, a story that will remind me that God’s ways are not our ways. That hope and beauty are found in unexpected places.

    • Posted by linda rhead on September 29, 2023 at 11:50 am #138021

      I attempted to intend to be a compassionate, listening presence this week. What I learned was I am grateful for my centering practice’s “ever so softly return” component, because I received many opportunities to return to my intention. Thank You, Abba, for this time to learn compassionate listening, and for all the occasions that will arise in which I can practice. <3 linda

    • Posted by Adeline Behm on September 29, 2023 at 9:31 pm #138039

      As I do sometimes, on a small piece of paper I printed : My intent is to be a compassionate listening presence, and I place it where I might see it during this week. Firstly I notice, just the desire of my intent may automatically intercept one aspect of my egoic plan for happiness. I could be aware of the depth of blessings such as delight, gratitude, serenity, affirmation; a profound experience of this is your will, O God, your plan, my little mite of contribution pales with the immensity of God’s desire (me trusting the burning bush, kind of experience). I take the time to savor. Then there have been times of catching my ego in action. The Welcome prayer bringing further light on such as ” how I can insist (spoke, unspoken) on  doing things my way”. I slowly  let my bottled-up breath slowly release into ” embracing  this moment as it is, as I allow the words of Jeremiah 29 to settle beyond that place within where my ego can do a filibuster. I savor those moments of serenity this week.

      • Posted by pbegeman on September 29, 2023 at 9:53 pm #138040

        Adeline, thank you for continuing to share about your practice of the Welcoming Prayer. When you shared in the prayer group about practicing it before you get out of bed every morning, that really stuck with me and I began that practice the next day … and have continued every since. You are an inspiration to me in so many ways. – Pamela

    • Posted by Adeline Behm on September 30, 2023 at 4:59 pm #138050

      September 30 in Canada is Truth and Reconciliation Day. The theme  of this WoW “Justice in the Kingdom of God” draws our Canadian hearts to  hear into  the depths of our beings Barbara Holmes words: “Our ways divide and stagnate ( up to seven generations of , the word GENOCIDE, facing the truth is takes courage and humility.) God’s ways and evolve us.” Today we hear the invitation and let our hearts be stretched: “… actually, “walking a different way, by a path marked by connection, attraction, reconciliation, restoration and mercy.” We are on the walk of healing in a yet awkward together. Showing up is the first step. With each step,  breathing in I am willing. With each exhalation, yes, I am willing. Lately I have had a new experience of being stretched, when I endured the painful contortions of  having my knees/hips x-rayed. I have to trust that there is elasticity in my stony heart on the way to claiming my human heart. I have to trust the same is true for each Indigenous/settler heart walking together.

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