“The story is told of Mother Theresa that when an interviewer asked her. "What do you say when you pray?" she answered, "I listen." The reporters paused a moment, then asked, "Then what does God say?" and she replied, "He listens." It is hard to imagine a more succinct way to get at the intimacy of contemplative prayer.”
― Marilyn Chandler McEntyre
If you are able to be at home more during this time of quarantine, it may be tempting to get some projects done around the house. Let's take care not to neglect the projects that build up our foundation. This is the perfect time to dive deeply into spiritual practices that build our relationship with Christ, center us in our deepest values, and fill our spiritual and emotional reservoirs.
One of the essential spiritual disciplines of the Christian faith is contemplative prayer, but there are many others. Spiritual disciplines are faithful practices that help us build up, strengthen, and deepen our faith. Others include, fasting, lectio devina, giving, thanksgiving, serving, worship, confession, sabbath, fellowship, journal keeping, Bible Study, silence.
You can find more about these spiritual disciplines on our "worship at home" page. When we are able to worship again, it will be with more joy, more depth, and will have more ability to transform us and the world if we spend daily time building our intimate relationship with God.
April 09th, 2020
My, my, my, this new normal we're in is a strangely boring struggle, isn't it? How can I have so much time on my hands and yet struggle to get things done? How can so many of my daily stresses have sunk into the background of life, while a deep looming grief and anxiety has taken its place? So many of us are lacking in physical, spiritual, and emotional strength under the weight of worries we don't even realize we have. We need extra motivation when times stretches before us this way, and our power is so in question.
Acts 4:31 ends the story of Peter and John going before the council. They struggle to know how to go forward from that moment, the threat of spreading the gospel now very real to them. And we read these words, "When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness."
We may not be gathered together, but we certainly have the sense that we have been shaken. I pray that God is shaking us at the same time the world is, and I would encourage you that, especially if we commit some time to the Lord each day, we will again be filled with the Holy Spirit. In that way, we can act and speak with boldness the mercy, grace, and, especially this week, the resurrection power of our Mighty God.
If you need some extra inspiration, I'd encourage you to CLICK HERE. Each week, we post some inspiration on social media. If you aren't on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram, maybe you didn't see these. When you click, you will find a slideshow of our social media posts. I pray they are an inspiration and motivation to live and love in boldness.
Rev. Jana Quisenberry is the minister at Brightwood Christian Church. She's an ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). A graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, KY and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN, She now resides in Mt. Lebanon with her husband, two children, and dog, Sookie. Pastor Jana loves the church, science fiction, and coffee.
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