Body, heart, love, mind, oneness, soul, Spirit

The miracle of life

Lord,

Thank you 
For the miracle of life:
You make us and sustain us
Day and night. 

You grant us breath and shelter, 
Water, food;
This Earth to cherish, 
Constantly renewed.

Your send your Son:
His teaching, flesh, and blood, 
To show us all 
Your deep, unfailing love.

You give us minds, 
So we can grow like Christ,
And hearts, so we can grasp 
His sacrifice

For us, and see, at last, 
What makes us whole:

One world, one human race,
One blood, one goal;

One peace, one truth, one love, 
One God, one soul.

 

References

He himself gives life and breath to everything (Acts 17:25; NLT). 

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16; NIV).

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5; NKJV).

This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many (Matthew 26:28; NLT).

From one *blood he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him – though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:26-8; NRSV; *using the alternative reading for ‘ancestor’, which is ‘blood’). 

The Lord is peace (Judges 6:24; NLT).

The Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6; NKJV).

God is love (1 John 4:16; NLT).

There is only one God (Mark 12:32; NLT).

God is Spirit (John 4:24; NLT). 

We all share the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13; NLT).

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You are the Word

God-Over-All, 
You are the Word;
You make and rule 
Both heaven and earth.

Jesus-In-All, 
You are the Word;
You come to share 
Our human birth.

Spirit-Through-All,
You are the Word;
You give us life:
The Father’s breath. 

Oneness-Of-All, 
You are the Word;
We reunite with you
In death. 

 

References

There is […] one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1; NIV).

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

Don’t you realise that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16; NLT).

I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one (John 17:22; NLT).

  

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Interruptions

When someone “interrupts”
Our prayer

It doesn’t have to end, Lord,
Then and there, 

For our response,
Through what we say and do, 

Continues, Father God, 
Our prayer to you.

 

References

Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you” (Mark 1:35-7; NLT). 
Never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).
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Contemplation

 

Introduction 
Contemplation is the practice of spending time alone with God, in stillness and silence. The aim is to become more deeply aware of our essential oneness with him. The contemplative process works by helping us to know ourselves more deeply, so we can be completely open and honest with God. Without such openness, there can be neither intimacy, nor unity. 

Information
Throughout our lives we experience a stream of information from our bodies and minds. This flow includes sensations, thoughts, emotions, memories, fantasies, temptations, visions, dreams and nightmares. In the quietness of contemplation, these conscious and unconscious manifestations of the inner self continue to emerge.

Treasures
However, although these impressions may distract us, they should never be seen as intrusions into our silence. Rather, they are the raw materials through which we learn about ourselves. Only through becoming aware of these “treasures hidden in darkness” (reference below), can we know ourselves more fully, and thus be able to share ourselves more completely with God. 

A sequence of steps 
During contemplation, many of the issues emerging from our information flow will require only brief attention, whilst others may prove more challenging. It can therefore be helpful to practice using a sequence of steps for handling them.

Step 1
The most basic task during contemplation is to become aware of our sensations, thoughts and feelings as they rise into consciousness. These experiences will repeatedly distract us from a steady focus on God. However each time we realise our minds have wandered, we briefly acknowledge this before him, let the matter go, then return to the silence.

Step 2 
When we find we are unable to let an issue go, it helps to discuss it straightforwardly with God. This process generally enables us to decide on the best course of action to take. It is good to jot this decision down, so we don’t worry about forgetting it. Using this process usually makes it easier to set the issue aside until we are ready to act, later on.

Step 3
Sometimes, though, we will still be unable to let a matter go. This indicates the need to embrace and accept the unresolved concern just as it is, whilst continuing to sit with it, in silence.

Honesty 
By using these three approaches appropriately and regularly during contemplation, we gradually come face to face with many hidden (often unpalatable), truths about ourselves. This enables us to share ourselves more honestly and fully with God. Of course, God already knows everything about us, but because he delights in our freedom, he waits patiently for us to draw nearer to him. 

Oneness
However, God’s love for us is so great that he doesn’t always wait for us to complete the journey at our own pace. Instead, he runs to meet us, taking us in his arms and kissing us, as we unite in our essential oneness. After enjoying this closeness for a while, we return, a little more enlightened, to our daily lives.

Conclusion
During contemplation we use our awareness of the information emerging from our conscious and unconscious minds to share our deepest selves with God. This learning and sharing process continues until the very end of our lives. Then, still, silent and alone, we seek him for the final time, in the darkness of death. And this time, when he welcomes us, there is no need to go back, for we will remain wholly one with him, absorbed into his light, fire, peace, truth and love for all eternity.

 

References

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35; NIV).

Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10; NIV). 

Be silent before the Sovereign Lord (Zephaniah 1:7; NIV).

I will give you treasures hidden in darkness (Isaiah 45:3; NLT).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

The Lord must wait for you to come to him (Isaiah 30:18; NLT).

While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him (Luke 15:20; NIV).

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Psalm 23:4; KJV).

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A dream (27 February 2019)

Early yesterday morning, I had a strange and vivid dream, which I would like to share with you:

I’m sinking deep into my self, towards a small, intense, single cell of white light. It has a clearly outlined border, and a dark nucleus. I watch it slowly moving and changing shape, rather like an amoeba. It is alive.

As I descend towards it, I begin to realise that this light is far larger and brighter than it seemed at first. I plunge into it. The light surrounds and inundates me completely. Instantly, I lose all sight and sense of it having any boundaries at all. It is limitless. 

Then I understand that this light is God. There is no separation between it and myself, other people, animals, creation, the living, the dead, past, present, or future. Rather, all things are the infinite, incomprehensible oneness of God, who is, “Over all, in all, and living through all”.

Then I woke up, daylight streaming into my room. Later, whilst I was dressing, it came into my mind that no matter what happens, I am healed. 

Afterwards, I wrote down everything I had seen, experienced and understood, feeling stunned, awed, humbled, and utterly silenced. 

Friends, I have always known that one day the prayers God gives me would come to an end. It may be that I have reached that point, but I simply don’t know yet. Time will tell. 

 

References

God is light (1 John 1:5; NLT).

No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39; NLT).

How great is God – beyond our understanding (Job 36:26; NIV).

There is […] one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).

O Lord, please leave me – I’m too much of a sinner to be around you (Luke 5:8; NLT).

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I long for you

My God, my God, 
I long for you, 
Though you are always here,
Within my body.

My God, my God,
I yearn for you,    
Though you are always here,
Within my mind.

My God, my God,
I thirst for you,
Though you are always here,
Within my heart, Lord.

My God, my God,
I search for you,
Though you always here,
Within my soul. 

 

References

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Mark 15:34; NLT).

I long for you, O God (Psalm 42:1; NLT).

You are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT).

I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain (Psalm 143:6; NLT).

All night long I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek for God (Isaiah 26:9; NLT).

He lives within you (1 John 2:27; NLT).

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Always say, ‘Thank you’

Always say, ‘Thank you’
To others,

And always say, ‘Thank you’
To God.

Always say, ‘Sorry’
To others,

And always say, ‘Sorry’
To God.

Always say, ‘Love you’
To others,

And always say, ‘Love you’
To God.

 

References 

Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God (Luke 20:25; NLT).

Thank him for all he has done (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person  (Matthew 5:23-4; NLT).

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” And, “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Luke 10:27; NLT).

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