Today’s Readings: Psalm 65; Lamentations 2:8-15; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Matthew 12:1-14
After six weeks of trying to adapt to the UCC’s daily lectionary reading schedule, I’ve realized it isn’t the right resource for me in terms of devotions. I was growing increasingly frustrated by the fact their program had only one New Testament reading a day (a gospel reading OR an epistle reading) and I needed both each day. Therefore, I’ll be using a reading schedule from one of our ecumenical partners. Thanks for humoring me and putting up with me through this change.
The first five words of today’s psalm stopped me dead in my tracks for they spoke to an important evolution that I’ve experienced in my spiritual life over the past decade. Let me tell you about that change.
I was raised to believe there was only way of thinking about God. I was told to believe in a transcendent God that was “out there” somewhere in the heavens. I alluded to this in my blog entry from yesterday. The implication of this belief was that my prayer life was formed exclusively around the practice of intercessory prayer. This meant I spent my prayer time talking to God (or perhaps I should say, at God) - updating God on the things that were happening in my life. Mostly I told God what I thought should happen. This meant my prayer life was full of mental chatter.
My seminary experience exposed me to another way of experiencing God – a way whereby God was immanent: with me and in me in the here and now. This sense of God’s presence radically altered my prayer life. Instead of spending my time articulating thoughts to share with God, I began to spend more and more of my prayer time in silence as I sought to simply experience God’s transformative presence in my life. My goal was to live into those first five words of the psalm: “silence is praise to you” (Psalm 65:1 from The Message).
My spiritual journey over the last ten years has shown me that silence is the vehicle that allowed me to experience God on God’s terms – not on my own. That has made all the difference to me! Today, I would ask what role silence plays in your spiritual life.
Til next time…