Contemplation Tag

  The Lectionary gospel text this week is from Luke 10:1-11, 16-20.  In it we read that Jesus was making his way to Jerusalem. In the preceding chapter Luke describes Jesus' mood as resolute.  He then sends 70 of his followers ahead of him, with very specific instructions. As I drew some meditative sketches about this scene, I was struck Christ's care for his followers. He had discerned that the time was right, so deliberately and carefully he sent...

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  Over the past five weeks I have been writing somewhat of an extended book review of Henri Nouwen's 'The Return of the Prodigal Son - A Story of Homecoming'.  Through it I have explored the story Jesus told in Luke 15 and Rembrandt van Rijn's depiction of the story's human landscape. At the risk of spoiling Nouwen's conclusion, or worse, not being able to do it justice, I offer my own reflection on what I've...

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  I have continued reading Henri Nouwen's book, 'The Return of the Prodigal Son - a story of homecoming' a reflection on the Rembrandt painting on the same subject. The latest chapters consider the younger son in the story.  What I found most interesting to learn was that other sketches and paintings from earlier Rembrandt's life on the subject of the prodigal son had a whole lot more movement in them.  They were dynamic - the Father...

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  I have started reading Henri Nouwen's 'The Return of the Prodigal Son- A Story of Homecoming' (1992). I have not moved past the prologue.  It documents the beginning of Nouwen's fascination with Rembrandt van Rijn's painting 'The Return of the Prodigal Son' and how the painting became so spiritually significant to him. I was intrigued that although Nouwen describes the embrace of the Father as central to the painting, he is quick to point out the...

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  The reading from the psalms this week includes beautiful imagery of the touch of God. Psalm 104:31&32: May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works - he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke. This week is the end of the series I have entitled 'Season of Light'. As I reflect on the meditations of this season that spans from Resurrection Sunday to Pentecost, I...

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  Sometimes the right word will carry a whole lot of weight. It will cut right to the heart of the matter. For me, one such word is surely.  It is a word for light in dark times; a word that forms a hinge in prayer, turning the pray-er toward God. Two of the Lectionary texts this week involve dark and uncertain places for real people. Jesus prays for his disciples around the table before he is...

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  In Acts 16:9-15 we read that the Apostle Paul and friends go on a journey to Macedonia. After a few days they go outside the city gates to the river where they "expected to find a place of prayer." Unexpectedly, they end up being invited to eat in the house of a Gentile woman, Lydia. I wonder if her home became that place of prayer. I can imagine the aroma of freshly baked bread and...

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  The Lectionary text this week takes us to Acts 11:1-18. Here we are invited to listen in on how Jewish Christians in the early church dealt with the very vexing question of Non-Jewish believers. We are invited to consider how much wider the mission of God was than they could imagine or even contain. See here the interplay between Peter, the other believers and the Spirit of God. See how God met the man Cornelius...

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  Last week I had the privilege of visiting Iolani Palace in Hawaii.  As guests we were invited to view the lower level of the Palace, which included a magnificent staircase and throne room (and the little throne room).  What captured me most, however, was the royal dining table.  As one of the last guests to make my way through I was able to linger a little longer.  I can honestly say I was moved.  I...

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  In this Season of Light we have also been invited to engage with another of Jesus' post-resurrection encounters. He appears to a group of his disciples on the shores of Galilee while they are out fishing on the lake. Read the whole story in John 21:1-19. Below is my prayer.  May it be for you today as an autumn morning. Season of Light 2: Jesus, unmoor me – Yes, set me adrift – I sense in the cold light You are somehow  ...

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