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Tag Archives: rhythms

Midday Office: Letting Go

Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes) Scripture Reading – Luke 1:28-38 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary… You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God….For no word from God will ever fail.’ ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May. Read more.

Midday Office: Letting Go

Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes) Scripture Reading – Luke 1:28-38 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary…You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God….For no word from God will ever fail.’ ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered.. Read more.

The Unbusy Pastor/Leader

Pastoral busyness is a “blasphemous anxiety to do God’s work for Him”(Hillary of Tours).  I reread Eugene Peterson’s The Contemplative Pastor in preparation for my sermon last week on Sabbath. Written 24 years ago, who would have imagined how much our busyness would have increased? A “busy pastor, ” he argues, is like being called an “embezzling pastor” or an “adulterous pastor.” Our calling is to pray, bring God’s word out of quietness and solitude, and to listen to others with unhurried leisure. The roots of our frenetic activity come from two sources, says Peterson: 1) vanity and 2) laziness (it is easier to let others decide how I will spend my time). Take a deep breath. Close your eyes for a 2-3 minutes. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7).  Read Peterson’s book. Remember: It is very difficult, if not impossible, to lead people to a quiet place beside still. Read more.

Rest and the Double Life

Last Sunday I preached on “Rest: Learning from Jesus” (John 12:1-8). I loved preparing, praying, thinking, and delivering it. I felt exhilarated when it was over. My schedule was relaxed after church. I met with a single mom and a couple of others congregants and visitors. I then realized I could make my 14 year old daughter’s soccer game. Geri and I generally take turns and I had been at Saturday’s game, but I thought it would be great to surprise them both. So I got into my car and began driving like a maniac – cutting though lanes, squeezing between cars in NYC traffic, pressing just a little harder on that accelerator. In the process, I cut off one of our associate pastors who was watching all this and laughing hysterically with his 17 year old in the car! They had just heard me preach my magnificent message on “Rest: Learning from Jesus.” When. Read more.

Reflections on a Weekend with the Trappists

This was my fifth retreat with the 70+ monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Massachusetts. Maybe since it was the end of my 6 weeks away from the responsibility of leading New Life, but I entered into a deep calm, silence and rhythm with their life almost immediately. One of the highlights of the weekend was a conversation with Father Kizito Kwame, a West Indian who has been with them for 49 years. He joined at the age of 17 when the monastery was at its height (1958-1960) of 200 monks. He recently returned from 10 years of serving among the 25 Trappist monasteries in Africa. A part of me so longed to remain on the mountaintop with God and not leave return to checkbooks, house, problems, needs, noise and traffic of NYC, that I complained to him for a while, shared with him this inner compulsion I often feel to be a monk, etc.. Read more.

Daily Offices for Me

I am often asked what I do for my Daily Offices.  The answer is not too complex. I generally pause 3-4x a day – morning for a longer period, midday, evening and compline (right before going to bed). I have been meditation on and praying the psalms now for over 3 and a half years, using the schedule found in the end of the Book of Common Prayer. (I have also made it available as a download from our resources at the EHS and NLF website).  I don’t keep to the daily schedule with dates but just keep moving along day by day. I think it works out to praying through the Psalter every 5-6 weeks. This is my bread and butter. I generally will take 2 ten to twenty minutes blocks of silence somewhere in my offices (almost always in the morning). I almost always have a devotional handy (like the Sayings of the Desert Fathers. Read more.