He is not here – An offering from Rev. Lil Smith

As you walk to Galilee, notice what words want to accompany you today.

(c) 2018 Rev. Lil Smith
SMI Board
Retreat House
Spiritual Director and Supervisor

Advertisements

Christ awaken us to ourselves: An offering from Eunice Cheshire

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Romans 8:9-11

Our God is not one who holds us at a distance, but a God whose Spirit comes to dwell within us.  Our God is a God who shares his very life with us!  This is exciting news even to us who are accustomed to hearing it, and I find it fascinating to imagine the looks on the faces of the members of the Roman community to whom Paul sent this letter.  In our busy world, the challenge in this scripture for us may be in first learning to be present to ourselves in whom God dwells.   Otherwise, could it seem that we are dead to Christ alive in us?  Our Easter prayer may be a sincere request that Christ awaken us to ourselves and to His presence alive within us.

(c) 2018 Eunice Cheshire
HeartPaths Core Faculty
Spiritual Director and Supervisor

Remembrance of the sacrifice: An offering from Nancy Jagmin

The precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.

1 Peter 1:17-20

It’s a pretty difficult image to live up to.

Peter reminds us that we have the responsibility to keep this image before us, however.  The sacrifice was too perfect to be remembered only today.

Our self-centered lives seem almost contemptible in comparison. It’s tempting to use the inspiration (or the guilt) to launch a spate of good intentions for more Christ-like living.  However misguided our self-reliance, we know it’s not time to start trying yet.  Today I am called merely to let the remembrance of the sacrifice settle deep into my consciousness.

(c) 2018 Nancy Jagmin
SMI Board of Directors
Heartpaths Faculty
Spiritual Director

Grace in denying: An offering from Rev. Lil Smith

 Jesus said to [Peter],

“Truly I tell you, this day, this very night,

before the cock crows twice,

you will deny me three times.”

Mark 14:30

I say I will not deny you, but my gut tells me better.  My actions and my words don’t match.  We must deny you.  It is who we are at the very core of our being.  Our ego is too strong.  We can’t always deny ourselves.  Sometimes we deny you.

Help us, O Holy One, to be gentle with ourselves when we deny you.  For your love goes deeper than denial.  Help us return to you and breathe deeply and let go of self jugment and doubt and anxiety and shame.  For if we remain in this place we deny the Fruit of Your Spirit, and this becomes a viscious cycle.  So help us claim gentleness for ourselves so we can return to you and serve you.

O God who never denies us, forgive us for our selfish ways.  Help us learn why we deny you so that next time we may choose to deny ourselves.  AMEN.

(c) 2018 Rev. Lil Smith
Retreat House
Spiritual Director and Supervisor

The cornerstone: An offering from Rev. Lil Smith

 10 Have you not read this scripture:

‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
11 this was the Lord’s doing,
    and it is amazing in our eyes’?”

Mark 12:10-11

Builders and vineyard tenants can be greedy.  It doesn’t take long before we say, “I deserve this.  Get out of my way.  I am better than you.  So I am going to take this from you.”

Political and religious leaders can be greedy.  It didn’t take long for them to say, “We must kill him, or they will reject us and we will no longer have power.”

Despite our need to design the culture and create our own agendas, God has a plan for us.  It won’t look like you expect.  In fact, you may find that the very thing you rejected is the cornerstone of God’s kingdom.

This is what the Lord is doing.

And it is amazing!  Open your eyes!

(c) 2018 Rev. Lil Smith
Retreat House
Spiritual Director and Supervisor

My love shall never leave you: An offering from Eunice Cheshire

 For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you.

Isaiah 54: 9-10

“My love shall never leave you” – the words of a God of unmeasured, unconditional and never-ending love.  Perhaps because of its immensity, we struggle to wrap our arms around this Love and to take it in – we hesitate to trust it fully.  Yet if we can do so, it makes all the difference because it changes how we respond to God, to ourselves and to others.  Abbe Henri de Tourville (1842-1903) in a letter of spiritual direction advises: “Accustom yourself to the wonderful thought that God loves you with a tenderness, a generosity, and an intimacy which surpasses all your dreams.  Give yourself up with joy to a loving confidence in God and have courage to believe firmly that God’s action towards you is a masterpiece of partiality and love.  Rest tranquilly in this abiding conviction.”  Good advice still for today!

(c) 2018 Eunice Cheshire
HeartPaths Core Faculty
Spiritual Director and Supervisor

Spiritual Saltiness: An offering from Donnie Hawley

For everyone will be salted with fire. 
Salt is a good thing, but if salt has become insipid,
how can you season it again?
Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.

Mark 9:49-50

“Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.”

What does Jesus mean by this?  Those of us who cook know that too little salt makes food somewhat tasteless and it becomes insipid, while too much salt will ruin the food and it becomes inedible.  Salt is a seasoning and a preservative.

Is Jesus trying to tell us that the right amount of spiritual saltiness is needed?  In our relationship with God and others, if our spiritual saltiness is insipid, the peace we seek will also be insipid and our relationships will not be preserved.

On the other hand, if our spiritual saltiness is over bearing, God and others whom we want to be in relationship with will be put off by the brine and the crusty residue that brine leaves.

The question we have to ask ourselves is how do we develop this balance of spiritual saltiness that leads to peace?

(c) 2018 Donnie Hawley