community · faith · Prayer

In Ordinary And Hidden Moments

We’ve been watching the series ‘Pilgrimage’ on BBC TV this week.
In previous years, the programme has followed a group of celebrities on a pilgrim route – one year it was Rome, another was Compostela, another was Istanbul.

This year, they are following the journey of the 6th century saint Columba as he set up Christian communities across Ireland and Scotland.

The group this comprises 7 people, with different stories, and differing degrees of faith from Agnostic to Committed. We hear about upbringing in Christianity, Sikhism, Judaism, Islam and how that has shaped their lives.

The moment I want to reflect on comes at the end of their third day of pilgrimage. It’s been a tough day, with challenging walking, and they have arrived at the hostel where they will stay the night.

It’s Friday, the days when Jews will mark the beginning of the Sabbath with an evening meal. Over the last three days, actress Louisa Clein has talked about her Jewish heritage, and her increasing confidence with talking about her faith. She is keen to share the experience of Shabbat and hosts the meal.

There’s a point where she takes the Sabbath bread and breaks off pieces and shares it around the table. A simple ritual that speaks of the importance of faith and community. It’s one of those moments where you sense that something important is happening. There’s a closeness in the group that is cemented in a way that goes beyond words.

We have really warmed to this group of pilgrims as they have laughed and cried together. Laurence Llewelyn Bowen is an unlikely leader of the group. We noticed the times when he opens up conversations about faith, and when something he does or says holds the group – like when he addresses them as family. Each person contributes in their own way, from encourager to questioner to faith defender. We love it. I would love to gather a similar group from my locality to do a pilgrim walk together and share our stories …. I wonder …

Going back to the Sabbath meal in Pilgrimage – it reminded me of one of the stories of Jesus. It takes place after the resurrection, when two people are walking home from Jerusalem and Jesus joins them as they are walking. They talk as they walk – much as the seven pilgrims have done in the BBC programme. They share the things that are deep in their hearts.

In the Bible account, the two reach their home and invite Jesus to stay with them. As they sit down to their meal, Jesus takes the bread and breaks it, and in this moment they realise that it is Jesus. A moment of profound realisation that happens in the everyday action of breaking bread.

Today I read this:
”The big thing is not to treat today as a step towards what you are hoping for some day in the future, but to accept that this day contains the seeds of all that you hope for. This is it ! Now this particular day might not feel special, in fact it might be important that it does not feel special. We need to allow ourselves to be drawn under the skin of the day and into its earthy mystery.”
(Running over rocks, by Ian Adams p. 106.)

I confess to finding this a challenge. I have a tendency to be always looking forward to the next thing. My mind is in the future. Future projects and possibilities. So I need something to earth me in the present moment. For me it’s a daily time of reading and prayer. But there are many other ways to include this ‘welcoming the day’ into our lives. It might be to create a simple ritual that we can repeat each morning to remind ourselves of the importance of living in the present.

It could be a song, or a prayer, or an action …

One of the prayers I have used and found helpful is the Morning Prayer by Padraig O Tuama.
You can find it in his book “Daily Prayer”

Morning Prayer

We begin our day alone,
Honouring this life, with all its potentials and possibilities.

We begin our day with trust,
Knowing we are created for loving encounter.

We begin our day with hope,
Knowing the day can hold love, kindness, forgiveness and justice.

A reading followed by a time of silence

We recall our day yesterday,
May we learn, may we love, may we live on.

We make room for the unexpected,
May we find wisdom and life in the unexpected.

Help us to embrace possibility, respond graciously to disappointment and hold tenderly those we encounter.
Help us to be fully present to the day.

A short silence

We pray for all those whose day will be difficult.
We name them in our hearts or out loud
May we support, may we listen, may we change.

We resolve to live life in its fullness:
We will welcome the people who’ll be a part of this day.
We will greet God in ordinary and hidden moments.

We will live the life we are living.

A short silence

May we find the wisdom we need,
God be with us.

May we hear the needs of those we meet,
God be with us.

May we love the life that we are given,
God be with us

Activism · Political · Prayer · Truth · World Affairs

In Search of The Truth Part 1

In our church yeserday, we had these prayers that I found compelling, and thought worth sharing. Simple, yet full. Offering space to enter into the prayer in our own way.

God of love
hear the cry of those who yearn for love;
fractured families, broken homes
neglected, unwanted, alone.
God of love
Hear our prayer

God of justice
hear the cry of those who yearn for justice;
persecuted and oppressed,
exploited, ill-treated, broken.
God of justice
Hear our prayer

God of peace
hear the cry of those who yearn for peace;
in battle zones and broken states,
frightened, fearful, anxious
God of peace
Hear our prayer

God of healing
hear the cry of those who yearn for healing;
physical and spiritual
hurting, weakened, depressed
God of healing
Hear our prayer

God of mercy
Hear the cry of those who yearn for mercy;
convicted, in need of your Grace,
contrite, humble, bowed down,
God of mercy
Hear our prayer

God of Truth *
Hear the cry of those who yearn for truth;
the truth of our hearts, and the truth of what we see around us.
Confused, questioning, searching
God of truth
Hear our prayer

Dear God, help us to know
your peace , your love, your justice,
your healing, mercy and truth
this day and all days

I added this last section to the prayers we had in church. The prayers had reminded me of a verse in Psalm 85 verse 11:
Grace and truth have met together; justice and peace have kissed each other.
(Complete Jewish Bible translation).

The reasons for adding the section about truth, was confirmed for me by a quote from Hannah Arendt,
“Under conditions of tyranny it is far easier to act than to think.”

When we see something happening like the invasion of Ukraine, we want to do something. And It is fantastic to see the humanitarian aid that is coming to Ukraine, and the way that other nations have stepped up.

But in the end …
The antidote to evil is not goodness but reflection and responsibility. Evil grows when people “cease to think, reflect, and choose between good and evil, between taking part or resisting.” Hannah Arendt.

Part of that thinking and reflecting is a search for truth, as best we can, however elusive that might be.

A Prayer For This Day · Activism · Bible · Political · Prayer · suffering · Truth · World Affairs

Praying For The Ukrainian People

Today I read these words from the Prophet Jeremiah chapter 11:

God told me what was going on. That’s how I knew. You, God, opened my eyes to their evil scheming.
I had no idea what was going on—naive as a lamb being led to slaughter!
I didn’t know they had it in for me, didn’t know of their behind-the-scenes plots:
“Let’s get rid of the preacher. That will stop the sermons!
Let’s get rid of him for good. He won’t be remembered for long.”

Then I said, “God-of-the-Angel-Armies, you’re a fair judge.
You examine and cross-examine human actions and motives.
I want to see these people shown up and put down!  I’m an open book before you. Clear my name.”

The people of Anathoth, the home town of the prophet Jeremiah, want to silence him.
Jeremiah is unaware of this until God shows him the truth.
Then he realises their plan to get rid of him.
He appeals to God and God’s justice.

We were not unaware of Putin’s plan, but we did not want to think it would happen. Now it has.
This is my prayer, as we also appeal to God for justice.

The name Putin is derived from put – путь, the Russian word for ‘way.’
Правда is Russian for truth
ZhiznЖизнь is Russian for life

We pray to the LORD of hosts
The LORD-of-the angel-armies
Not to come against might with more might
But to raise up the people of Russia in resistance.
To reveal the bare pravda
To see false, fake rulers standing naked
Hands tied behind their backs
Their power and glory stripped.

We pray to the LORD of hosts
The LORD-of-the angel-armies
To raise up the people of the earth in solidarity
To reveal the Pravda and the true Put
To see the people of Ukraine delivered from evil
Once more able to live Zhizn openly and spontaneously
Not cautiously and warily.

Pray for the peace of Ukraine
Prosperity to all you Ukraine lovers
Friendly insiders, get along!
Hostile outsiders, keep your distance!
For the sake of my family and friends,
I say it again: live in peace!

(The last section is From The Message translation of Psalm 122 in the Jewish Scriptures)

Bible · Climate Change · faith · Prayer · World Affairs

A Boundary For The Sea

We’ve been watching ‘The Sinner’ in the last week. Series 4. It’s a crime drama set in Maine, USA, and stars Bill Pullman.
The main character, Percy Muldoon, is a woman in her 20’s and is very troubled by something in her past. Her uncle Colin is trying to help her recover her catholic faith and one scene shows them repeating these words together.

“I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass …”

I didn’t recognise the words, but thought they were probably from the psalms.

Weirdly, I came across the exact same words the following day, as I came to the next section of Jeremiah in my daily prayers. (I’m reading through Jeremiah a few verses a day).

When I experience an extraordinary coincidence like this (serendipity), I try to be alert to what God might be saying. The conclusion I came to was to write a post about it in the hope that it might speak to someone.

In “Praying with the Prophets,” Eugene Peterson comments on this verse – “Oceans and lakes know and respect the boundaries set for them by God. Why will not human beings do the same ? But everywhere there are people who scorn and flout guidelines of justice and gratitude, compassion and generosity.”

The consequences of living outside the boundaries that God has given us are that our lives go out of alignment, and on a macro level, we see injustice spreading and the earth itself groaning.

Eugene Peterson’s prayer following his comment in this verse:
Dear God, I want to live in harmony with what you have created in and around me, not at odds with it. I want to increase in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and humanity. (Luke 2:52)”

Bible · faith · God · Grace · Jesus · Prayer

So Much To Tell You

I’m told that to increase your readership, you need to blog often. Ah well.

There is so much to say, but sadly I’ve forgotten a lot of it. However, here’s one snippet, and it’s all about water.

But first, the plan. I have a plan for the year. A plan that is slimmed down from last year’s marathon of 4 scripture readings every day. So this year, I’m spending the first six months reading through the prophet Jeremiah at a very leisurely pace, just a few verses each day.

Alongside that, I’m reading just a few verses from Mark’s Gospel each week. The same few verses every day of the week. I’m also trying to build in 20 minutes of silence each day. It’s a simple diet.

I’ve got a couple of other books that I’m reading alongside the scripture readings – Running Over Rocks, by Ian Adams. 52 short chapters – one for each week of the year, each one focussing on a simple spiritual practice.

And finally, Sounding the Seasons, a book of sonnets by the poet Malcolm Guite, one sonnet each week.

It feels good so far.

Oh, and I forgot – of course a psalm each day.

So, last Monday, I had three readings that included these words:
From Psalm 93:
More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters,
more majestic than the waves of the sea,
majestic on high is the Lord!

and from Jeremiah 2:
My people have … forsaken me, the fountain of living water,
and dug out cisterns for themselves,
cracked cisterns that can hold no water.

and from Mark 1:
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee
and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  
And just as he was coming up out of the water,
saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.
And a voice came from heaven,
‘You are my Son, the Beloved;
with you I am well pleased.’

It’s interesting that all three readings are in some way about water.
Mighty waters
The fountain of living water
The waters of baptism
And as I thought more about the Gospel reading and the water of baptism, my mind went back to the very first words of the Bible, noticing three parallels between the beginning of Genesis and the beginning of Mark’s Gospel

Parallel 1 – Descending and Hovering

At the baptism of Jesus, is it the dove that is important, or the description of the dove descending ?
Maybe what’s happening here is answering the prayer of the prophet Isaiah – “O that you (God) would tear open the heavens and come down.” (Isaiah 64:1)

This descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove in Mark chapter 1 reminded me of something very similar in Genesis chapter 1:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Parallel 2 – Good and Pleasing

And, in Genesis chapter 1 we have the repeated refrain – and God saw that it was good, while in Mark chapter 1, we have God saying “You are my Son, the beloved; with you I am well pleased”

In Genesis 1 God sees what he has made, and it is good.
In Mark 1 God speaks a word of affirmation over the new thing that is coming in Jesus.

Parallel 3 – Thrown out and Tempted

Following the description of God’s work of creation in Genesis 1 and 2, the plot moves to the temptation of Adam and Eve, which results in them being thrown out of the Garden of Eden.

Following Jesus’ baptism, Mark tells us that the Holy Spirit drives (or throws, banishes) Jesus out into the wilderness where he is tempted.

It’s as if the wilderness place is where humanity is, and it’s where Jesus goes to begin his work of winning humanity back. He goes to the place where we have to deal with the compulsions that drive us apart from one another. The hungers that have gone from the natural healthy desires to something twisted and broken.

And it’s here, where we dwell, that Jesus confronts and overcomes those desires – and is able to hold on to the knowledge of being a beloved son of God.

And Finally

I’m sure I’m not the first person to notice these parallels. (Indeed, maybe I read it somewhere and forgot it, but it stayed in my subconscious?) But I do find it amazing, wonderful, inspiring etc that the start of the Hebrew Bible begins with God’s work of creation, and the start of the Christian Gospel begins with God’s work of New Creation, in which, at last, God comes to be present with us to lead us … not back to the garden, but ultimately onwards …

(But that’s another story)

So may you know, deep within you, that (as one wise person has said)
There is nothing you can do to make God love you more,
and there’s nothing you could do that would make God love you less.

And Finally, Finally

Here’s the sonnet by Malcolm Guite on the Baptism of Christ:

Beginning here we glimpse the Three-in-one;
The river runs, the clouds are torn apart,
The Father speaks, the Sprit and the Son
Reveal to us the single loving heart
That beats behind the being of all things
And calls and keeps and kindles us to light.
The dove descends, the spirit soars and sings
‘You are belovèd, you are my delight!’

In that quick light and life, as water spills
And streams around the Man like quickening rain,
The voice that made the universe reveals
The God in Man who makes it new again.
He calls us too, to step into that river
To die and rise and live and love forever.

Grace and Peace.

Church · Climate Change · Prayer

Responsive Call To Worship Litany

We had this piece of liturgy in our service on Sunday. It forms part of the work “Liturgical Material on Climate Change” that was compiled in 2009 by The National Council of Churches in Denmark Climate Change Working Group written to be used in Creation Time. The words are especially powerful in the light of the recent COP26 summit.

Today and Tomorrow
in time and in eternity
Your kingdom come

In our world, and in our streets,
In our homes and communities,
Your kingdom come

In our lives and in our loves,
in our hope and in our travelling,
Your kingdom come

Sisters and brothers, rejoice.
We are sustained and nourished by God’s presence and love.
Thanks be to God.

As we mourn the distress and wounds of God’s creation.
God weeps with us.

As we face rising waters, hunger, and displacement,
God suffers with us.

As we struggle for justice,
God struggles with us.

As we expose and challenge climate injustice,
God empowers us.

As we strive to build alternative communities,
God works with us.

As we offer our gifts to all,
God blesses us.

Sisters and brothers, rejoice.
Sustained by God’s presence and love we worship God.

A Prayer For This Day · Bible · faith · Prayer · Worship

Your Blessing On Our Lips

I’ve been reading a passage from Ecclesiasticus for the last few weeks. Here is today’s passage, from chapter 50. It describes the worship in the newly restored Temple in Jerusalem. As the worship came to an end ….

Then the singers praised Him with their voices in sweet and full-toned melody.

And the people of the Lord Most High offered their prayers before the Merciful One,
until the order of worship of the Lord was ended, and they completed his ritual.

Then Simon came down and raised his hands over the whole congregation of Israelites,
to pronounce the blessing of the Lord with his lips, and to glory in his name;
and they bowed down in worship a second time, to receive the blessing from the Most High.

A Benediction

And now bless the God of all, who everywhere works great wonders,
who fosters our growth from birth, and deals with us according to his mercy.
May he give us gladness of heart, and may there be peace in our days in Israel, as in the days of old.
May he entrust to us his mercy, and may he deliver us in our days!

The words that struck me today were these:
Then Simon came down and raised his hands over the whole congregation to pronounce the blessing.

It reminded me most powerfully of the times when I have done exactly that. At the end of our worship – in the places where I have served as curate and as vicar – in Hull, Beverley, and Hoddesdon … and wherever I have had the privilege of leading God’s people in worship, I have raised my hands to pronounce the Benediction, the Blessing, using words like this:
May the peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of His son Jesus Christ. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, remain with you, this day and always. Amen.

Or it might be those moments at the communion rail, as someone bows their head to indicate that they are here to receive a blessing – maybe not yet ready to take the bread and the wine. And I place my hands lightly on their head and pray a prayer of blessing over them. Some times I will use the ancient prayer of Aaron, the High Priest of Israel –
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Sometimes, I might say word of blessing that I know will speak to their immediate situation – maybe for healing, for guidance, for a particular need.

But as I reflect on this part of my experience as a minister God’s church, I know that this privilege is not one that is set aside for a special group – for the ordained minister or those with some special power. Why should God’s blessing be contained within the confines of gathered worship ? Is a church building the only place to receive the peace, mercy and deliverance that come from God ? It might be reassuring to be in such a setting, receiving God’s blessing, but we must never restrict God’s blessing to such ‘Liturgical niceties.’ * The gift to bless another is a gift for us all to give and to receive.

We may simply say ‘God bless’ as we say goodbye to a friend, or ‘bless you,’ as we are aware of a need of another.
Sometimes we may use the words too easily, without much thought, but the faith of Israel teaches us that these words of blessing have power. So we use them prayerfully.

I have a prayer that I use most Fridays:

God of earth, sea, and sky;
God of bread, wine, and story;
God of wind, fire, and water;
God who shaped us,
God who remade us,
God who fills us.
Take our lives, body, heart and soul –
make us one with you and with each other.
Give us your word on our lips,
and your blessing in our hands,
that the world may see and know,
and give you glory.

May God bless you, and those whom you love and pray for; and may you be given words of blessing to give to someone this day.

* A phrase from Walter Brueggemann that I must acknowledge !

Bible · faith · Political · Prayer · suffering

Coercive Silence and Generative Silence

Some years ago now, I discovered the value of silence, especially in the context of prayer.
My practice of silence as a regular discipline has varied over the years – I’ve been thinking recently that I could do with making more of an effort to build it in to my daily routines.

Generative Silence

Early Experience
I was brought up in the Open Brethren. For all their faults, there was so much that gave me a healthy foundation for my own spiritual life. One of those was the importance of silence in worship. We had no pastor, no paid leaders, and there was a degree of openness that encouraged every member to play their part. (Like many churches – as long as they were male, in those days)
Our morning meeting on a Sunday had no written liturgy, and what happened would be different each week. We would be guided, we prayed, by the Holy Spirit. There would be hymns sung, scripture read, and prayers prayed. No long sermons – maybe a brief thought, usually related to one of the scriptures that had been read. And quite a lot of silence.

The value of silence
I remember particularly a book by M.Basil Pennington – Call to the Centre that helped me establish a way of praying with silence.

The other key moment was watching a series on BBC – The Big Silence – sadly no longer available on BBC iPlayer, but no doubt available on DVD.

Quaker Silence
When on Sabbatical in 2009, and during the time that I was discovering again the value of silence, I attended a Quaker meeting and wrote a bit about it here. The meeting reminded me of my own early experience of church with extended periods of silence. This kind of silence can be generative – lead to new thoughts and actions that work for the good of all. You know the phrase – ‘a pregnant pause?’ I suppose a pause is a kind of silence, and the pregnant pause is one that’s full of meaning, waiting to come out. It reminds me that silence can be generative, and that out of this silence, something new can be born.

Coercive Silence

Those with social privilege have the option to remain silent.
However, not all silence is helpful. The silence experienced by many people will not be chosen but coerced. I remember being a part of conversations where the subjects of religion and politics were outlawed – and yes, they can get boring and unproductive. But part of the reason why these discussions are out of bounds is because the privileged and the comfortably secure don’t want to have their position challenged, and because of their privilege they can choose not to have the debate anyway.

I was listening to a programme on the radio yesterday – ‘Green Inc’. Unpacking the multi-billion-dollar industry that’s rebranding the oil and gas industry as green. Whilst investing huge amounts into prolonging the oil and gas industry, there’s an attempt to persuade us that it’s not so bad after all. One way of silencing others is to shout louder and longer using the best of modern media in an attempt to drown out alternative voices.

Many of us have experienced this in our church life. We’ve heard the dominant voices and wanted to speak, but somehow there hasn’t been a forum for that conversation, or we have lacked the courage. In churches that are led by strong willed clergy, it may be hard for other voices to be heard. Even in more egalitarian faith communities, it’s often the most confident who speak the most, and they may not be the best voices to listen to.

Women, the Gay community, Black voices, the Poor generally – all have struggled to resist the forces that have threatened to silence them. There’s a verse in Exodus chapter 2 that I have mentioned recently in another post, where over many years, the Hebrew voice has been silenced by oppression.
“The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.”
The period of slavery in Egypt left them voiceless. In desperation they cry out in the hope that someone will hear them. The road to freedom started with that cry, but they would need determination to follow through on that path.

So what about those who do not have a voice – those who are forced in one way or another to stay silent. We may not even realise that it’s happening, but in any situation where one voice, or one set of voices are dominant, it’s likely that other voices are not able to speak.
You may recognise in your own experience times when you have wanted to speak, but not felt able to.
You may remember times when you have tried to speak, but found that your voice is drowned out by others.
Conversely, you may recognise in your own words and actions times when you have prevented others from speaking.

May we move to a place where all voices can be heard and listened to, and that we pay attention especially to the voices that are coming from a different place to our own.

Grace and Peace, and good listening.

Activism · Bible · Ecology · Political · Prayer · World Affairs

Spirit-Led Movements Always Perplex

This is a part of chapter 5 of the book of Acts in the New Testament.

12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed. 17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”

This is the account of the beginnings of the church. However, at this stage, it’s a movement within Judaism, but claiming something new that is driving a wedge between the powers that be and this new phenomenon.
(The new thing being a proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus).

I’ve written before about categories that characterise the work of the Spirit …
Inclusion … (contrasted with exclusion)
Abundance v Scarcity
Economic Justice v Coercive Power
Connectedness v Individualism
Cooperation v Competition
Solidarity v Looking After #1

In the account in Acts, the tension is between:
Voices that are determined to speak, and the forces that want to silence them
New possibilities that are emerging and present arrangements
Emancipation and Intimidation

When I was thinking about how this might play out today, there are numerous examples, but one that comes to mind is Extinction Rebellion.
How might we all play a part in the fight to put the climate emergency at the top of the political agenda ?

My thoughts are also turning to Afghanistan today. Western powers have much to regret and reflect on over past mistakes, but it’s clear that an immediate concern is the way that ‘present arragements’ in the form of fundamentalism are at play:
Silencing the voices that have begun to speak, quashing the new possibilities that have been possible (education of girls for example), and using intimidation to restrict the freedoms that are a human right.

Grace and Peace, and prayers especially for the Afghan people.


The Sacred Duty Of Prayer

In the Hebrew Bible, pretty much the first commandment that the Israelites receive from God after being liberated from Egypt is the commandment to keep the Sabbath. Maybe their recent history of seven-day-a-week slavery meant that they had developed a compulsion to work without stopping ?

It’s certainly a weakness of our society. In an environment driven by consumption and control, we need to hear the command to stop and take that regular break from economic activity. It might just be the most important commandment, because by paying attention to it, we open ourselves up to hearing God – and, in the course of stopping and being attentive, we stand a chance of following the commandment to put God first.

There is however, a down side to the commandment to keep Sabbath – we run the risk of making our life of faith a one day a week affair when it is meant to be a whole of life endeavour. If we can keep the balance – make space for sabbath whilst at the same time living our faith every day – then that’s fine.

But is it possible that some societies have not succumbed to that desire for continous ‘work without ceasing’, but have been able to balance the various aspects of life in a wholesome and life enhancing way ?
Here’s a quote from ‘A book of Native American Wisdom.’ ‘In a Sacred Manner I Live.’

In the life of an indian there was only one inevitable duty – the duty of prayer – the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal. His daily devotions were more necessary to him than daily food. He wakes at daybreak, puts on his mocassins, and steps down to the water’s edge. Here he throws handfuls of clear, cold water into his face, or plunges in bodily. After the bath, he stands erect before the advancing dawn, facing the sun as it dances on the horizon, and offers his unspoken orison. His mate may precede or follow him in his devotiopns, but never accompanies him. Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth, and the Great Silence alone.

Whenever, in the course of the daily hunt, the red hunter comes across a scene that is strikingly beautiful or sublime – a black thundercloud with the rainbow’s glowing arch above the mountain, a white waterfall in the heart of a green gorge; a vast prairie tinged with the blood-red of sunset – he pauses for an instant in the attitude of worship. He sees no need for setting apart one day in seven as a holy day, since to him all days are God’s.

Charles A. Eastman. Ohiyesa.

Charles A. Eastman (1858 – 1939) was one of the first Native American authors to achieve widespread fame.

May you find that place of spacious living that allows you live fully in God, for God to live in you.