Ministry Updates for Friday, April 24th, 2020
Scripture for Reflection – Mark 12:28-30 (excerpts)
One of the scribes asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “.. you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Reflection – Prayer Guidance
I need to change how I pray from time to time. New forms of prayer yield new ways of thinking about the world around me. Recently, I have been praying for wholeness. It is easy for me to feel fragmented, and even disconnected from myself. In Jesus’ words, wholeness would be loving God with my heart, mind, body (strength) and soul, and then loving my neighbor as myself. Our lives defy simple categories. But this is one way to view your ‘whole’ self
So… I pray for my heart, that I would be in touch with my emotional state. Emotions seem to get in the way of efficiency, and they can be uncomfortable at times. It is easy, especially for men, to want to dodge feelings. While I believe that vulnerability is a sign of strength, all the same, my heart seems to avoid it as much as my body sometimes wants to avoid exercise.
I pray for my mind. This is easiest for me. I enjoy learning and thinking through challenges. I like to read books and articles, listen to TED talks or sermons on-line. I like to explore maps, and challenge myself to learn to play new music on the piano.
I pray for my body. I am getting to an age where gains in my health are unlikely. But all the same I pray that I would eat well, get rest, exercise, and, in this pandemic, avoid unnecessary contact with people.
I pray for my soul. This can be the hardest thing to get a handle on. But you are feeding your soul right now by reading the scripture and engaging the reflections of your pastor. Prayer, scripture reading, devotions, Christian music, to name a few can feed your soul.
Prayer will often lead us to a call to action. God may send us out to use our heart, mind, body and soul to ‘love our neighbor as ourselves’. We are moved to follow Jesus in order to love the people he loves. You may want to keep a note pad nearby as you pray, so you can write down what God is calling you to do, and then continue on in prayer.
Great God, today we give you thanks for our whole being. We pray for our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. We want to be built up by you, not only for our own benefit, but so that we might love you, and in loving you, hear your call to love our neighbor as ourselves. Amen.