Love Your Enemies

Below is an audio recording of a time of prayer and meditation on Jesus’ teaching on loving one’s enemies and praying for those who persecute. It was presented as the morning devotional for a church retreat, and I decided to share it with whoever else decides they might benefit from allowing the Spirit to work in them with it.

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A Voice with Many Faces

The following is an allegorical telling of my life’s developing relationship with Scripture. Enjoy. When I was a boy, my friends were more a matter of proximity than affinity. When you’re just starting to grow, other kids are more decoration than companion, but they can be comforting. One day I accompanied my mom to a […]

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Christmas Prayer: A Song of Celebration

Merry Christmas!

Now that Advent has concluded and we have moved officially to celebrating the arrival of Jesus, the beginnings of good news and joy for those looking for God’s reign to take root, it is time to reflect and pray to celebrate the good things God has done.

Throughout Advent, I reflected on the book Song of Songs and paired it with the traditional theme of each week: hope, peace, joy, and love. In that ancient poem about the intimate dance and love affair with Holy Wisdom, all four of those virtues and divine gifts can be found.

In Jesus, all four find their true home.

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Advent Prayer #4: A Song of Love

This fourth week of Advent, the procession of longing reaches a crescendo in love. The whole season of Advent is characterized by hope, by waiting, by longing. We remember Israel’s longing for the LORD’s anointed who was to be many things to many people. We remember Mary’s long wait as a vulnerable baby slowly grew in the safety of her womb. We remember the history of saints through millennia of hoping for the long awaited appearance of Jesus to put the world to rights, and we continue to form that history as we hope.

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Advent Prayer #3: A Song of Joy

This third week of Advent, we rise above the surface and inhale the sweetness of joy. As we near the winter solstice and the nights grow longer and the days grow colder, joy can be hard to see. This year, as in all years, the fear for our futures, the ever-present suffering of the people of the world, and sadness for what could have been and what ought to be threaten to obscure the gifts God gives even in the midst of life.

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Advent Prayer #2: A Song of Peace

The night is long, and we wonder where our hope has gone. This Advent, as in every year, we wonder how things could have gone so dark. The hoped for lover is still a hope, so we band together, because guarding against the terrors that wait in the night makes us feel alone.

This second week of Advent, we reflect on peace. Where in theory, we might hope in solitude for the future relief we seek, peace requires more of us. Peace is possible only when we make it, in the grace and power of the Spirit. Peace is possible only when we join together in forgiveness and grace. Peace is possible only when we guard not against others but when we guard the things that matter for us all.

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Advent Prayer #1: A Song of Hope

Advent is a beginning. It serves to begin the church calendar, guiding God’s people in remembering the greatest gift we have received: God’s very self given to us in Jesus. The weeks leading up to Christmas help us to prepare our hearts, souls, minds, and strength to be the family of God, ready to receive our elder brother.

Every year, we begin again, for every year the nights are dark and the seeds of new creation have not fully blossomed. As a family, we turn to each other for hope, to remind each other why we wait and how to be the beacon in the darkness for the hopeless and the oppressed.

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With Thanksgiving

This week, each year, my family joins with millions of other Americans to celebrate certain values, to be mindful of the good things in our lives, and to feast. We rejoice in unity and gratefulness. As I approach my practice of meditation this week, I feel drawn to the biblical book Philippians. There are several […]

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Guided: Genesis Meditation

This is the first of several guided prayers and meditations I plan to develop using the insight I have gleaned from experts and gained from experience. From Christian contemplatives and secular neuroscientists, I have learned a lot about what is accomplished through meditation and prayer and how. I have learned some of the traditional forms of contemplative prayer, and I have learned what elements work toward a healthier, holier brain.

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