Day 4 Focus: Rescued
Level 1: (5 Minutes) On this forth day when you take your seat notice if your breathing slows down. Your body may be remembering that this is a time to relax and reflect. Think about how God—knows, releases, provides for, and rescues us. Take time to remember when you have been helped unexpectedly. Be thankful.
Level 2: (10 minutes) Do Level 1, then after Reading this daily scripture adaptation, take 5 minutes to discern what word or phrase catches your interest:
Adapted from Psalms 5, 6, 13. Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my groaning. Be gracious to me, Oh Lord, for I am pining away; heal me, O Lord, for my soul is greatly dismayed. I am weary with my sighing; every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears, my eye has wasted away with grief. How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long will I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will the enemy exalt over me? Please consider and answer me, O Lord, my God. Return, O Lord, rescue my soul and save me because of Your loving kindness. I trust in Your loving kindness. In the morning I will pray to You and eagerly watch. In the morning You will hear my voice. My heart rejoices in Your salvation. I sing to You Lord, because You always deal with me bountifully. Amen.
The phrase that speaks to to me today is, “my soul is greatly dismayed.” Every time I see the survivors of the violence in Florida, I weep. I want to join hands with every adult I know and create a circle of protection around every child and teacher on this earth. My prayers are anointed with tears and my hands and feet want to rush into action. I hear the pain, the layers of distrust, the consequences of neglect, the long-term lingering damage to survivors, and the misplaced anger that will be awakened all over the world. I believe that God weeps with all of us, and I trust that “The Lord, will rescue our souls and save us.” I have seen God’s loving kindness heal. I trust that God will reveal to us what we need to do. My prayer is that the voice of God in our hearts is strong enough to break through the noise of the crowd that would rather blame and shame than walk the walk of creating a Beloved Community that is a safe place for world-weary warriors “to beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” A Beloved Community where we have decided we shall not lift up sword or utter a violent word—where we will not teach people how to go to war any more. Where peace beyond understanding is strengthened by a love so strong it rescues, rather than eliminates, and it heals rather than hurts.
Level 3: (15 minutes) After pausing to breathe and reading the Scripture prayer, take 5 minutes to Write down what you discern that God is calling you to do.
Level 4: (30-60 minutes) As we form a Beloved Community, we will affirm that God knows, releases, provides for, and rescues us. This is not a God that leaves us on our own. How do you think we can decide we shall not lift up sword or utter a violent word? How can we show that embracing God’s commandment to love will make us stronger than waging war?
If you have the time and the inclination I invite you to email a little description about yourself, and/or reflections on what you are learning to share with the group. I will explore the possibility of a conference call for those who would like to participate. Ideas and suggestions and critiques are welcomed. God bless you on this Holy Lenten Journey.