Lent is a time to re-turn to God. Celtic spirituality is characterized by the expectation of finding God within. Finding God within ourselves and within creation by listening for the heartbeat of God. Describe a time in your life where you have heard the heartbeat of God.
Several years ago following the Maundy Thursday foot-washing service at COS, I was among a handful of parishioners who volunteered to keep watch overnight in the St. Francis Chapel. This sacred night commemorates the time following the Last Supper when Judas betrays Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. You will recall that the disciples couldn’t stay awake and keep watch with Jesus. I took a two-hour shift from 2 until 4 a.m.
In the dim light of the Chapel, I decided to read the Psalms, and especially note the times when inanimate nature is called upon to praise God and give God glory. I underlined quite a few passages in my own Book of Common Prayer that night, and I was richly blessed by the experience.
Passages such as “The heavens declare the glory of God” and “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise” were among the many verses that jumped off the page and into my consciousness that night.
But one verse spoke to me more than others. One verse struck me at just the right time in my journey of faith. It has remained with me ever since. It represents the heartbeat of God to me:
”May the mountains bring prosperity to the people, and the little hills bring righteousness.” --Psalm 72:3
I thought to myself, prosperity and righteousness are all that I need to please God and to fulfill my spiritual and material desires. And I don’t even have to work for either of these. They are made available to me through God’s creation!
COLLECT OF THE DAY
O Lord, strong and mighty, Lord of Hosts and King of glory: Cleanse our hearts from sin, keep our hand pure, and turn our minds from what is passing away; so that at the last we may stand in your holy place and receive your blessing; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
LISTEN TO "AMAZING GRACE"
Click link below to listen Sufjan Stevens' version of "Amazing Grace."
Click on the link below purchase one (or both) of our recommended reads that compliment Bill's reflection - An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith and/ or Common Prayer for Children and Families.