The Waystead is a Hermitage of the Lindisfarne Community, established with the intent to foster the love of God in the world. My resolve is to follow the Way of the One in Whom we live and move and have our Being.
I trust that by thoughtfully founding, and steadfastly keeping, a dwelling place and setting it apart as a place of prayer, reflection, and contemplation, I will be able to hold onto that resolve.
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14 Offer thanksgiving as your sacrifice to God,
pay your vows to the Most High, 15 and call on me when you are in trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
Exodus 34: 1- 17
15 Do not make a covenant with the people
living in the land. It will cause you to go astray after their gods and
sacrifice to their gods. Then they will invite you to join them in eating their
1 Thessalonians 2: 13- 20
you heard the Word of God from us, you received it not merely as a human word,
but as it truly is, God’s Word, which is at work in you believers.
Matthew 5:21- 26
23 So if you are offering your gift at the
Temple altar and you remember there that your brother has something against
you, 24 leave your gift where it is by the altar, and
go, make peace with your brother. Then come back and offer your gift. 25 If
someone sues you, come to terms with him quickly, while you and he are on the
way to court; or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the
officer of the court, and you may be thrown in jail! 26 Yes
indeed! I tell you, you will certainly not get out until you have paid the last
I’m feeling a bit abrupt today, and not inclined to burble
on about my interpretations.
The Psalm says to me that I might as well quit dwelling on
my misery and ‘pay my vows.’ I also noted that in the very next breath after the
instruction about offering thanksgiving, the psalm says ‘when you are in
trouble.’ My Zen buddy Rensho posted a thing on FB about how “life always gives
us the teacher we need.” So, my inference is that when we are in trouble and call
on God, then God will show us how our troubles are exactly the teacher we need.
Also, I noticed that God promises to deliver
us, not to comfort us, pamper us, or make excuses for us.
The reading from Exodus says to me that it’s always a bad
idea to make covenants with other people when their first priority is ‘living
in the land.’ I did that, I made a covenant with someone whose intentions I
mistook; who failed in her promises; and whose choices I am not capable of
understanding. It did indeed “cause me to go astray after their gods, and
sacrifice to their gods.” In the simple fact of sharing a household there were a
hundred and one different ways in which my own good intentions got laid down as
infernal paving stones. I always liked that saying, and I think I’m going to
dig it out of the bottom of my theological junk drawer, dust it off and hang it
on the wall for a while— “The road to
Hell is paved with good intentions.”
The reading from Thessalonians says to me that whether I cooperate
or not; whether I understand or not; whether I’m aware of it happening or not; the
living Word keeps right on working in me through the agency of my trust in God
and God’s trust in me. I don’t have to do a single thing except to keep on
Matthew’s Gospel says to me, “See how right I was?” It doesn’t
quite sound like “I told you so,” but close. I am doing my best to answer by
scrambling to “come to terms” in every way I know how. I mean that literally!
Fairness is beside the point when it comes to legal stuff. Once lawyers come
into the picture, then everything else loses importance compared to the effort
to stay out of court. All I can say is, that it’s a really good thing that I am
practicing non-attachment to material things, and that I was already pursuing
the ideal of a simple, minimalist lifestyle.
I’m doing my best to avoid the trap of saying to myself, “What
a naïve fool I was!” That brings me back full circle to the Psalm:
sticking it out, okay? —
bragging on how I always keep my promises,
getting out of the way and letting my promises keep me.
And yeah, I’m
calling on you, big time!
Just let me
out, and quit teasing me
old light at the end of the tunnel, will ya?
And I’d be
glad to give you a rain-check for that honor—
Lectionaries are funny things— weird, abstruse little lists
of biblical passages by number, sort of like tide tables or bus schedules. Today’s
Lectionary passages (for 3-9-2018, the week of the third Sunday in Lent) are:
Psalm 88; Genesis 47:1-26; 1 Corinthians 9:16-27; and Mark 6:47-56 About a month ago I posted a reflection in response to
Abbess Jane’s Lectionary Musings blog on the same passage from Corinthians as the
one listed for today in the Daily Office Readings Lectionary (BCP). That was
supposed to be the reading for the 6th Sunday of Epiphany, according
to +Jane, but I just can’t find it anywhere. I looked up Epiphany 6 in both the
Daily Office Lectionary and the Revised Common Lectionary—not there. It’s not
the reading from the Lindisfarne Community’s A Way of Living Lectionary for
either Year 1 or 2 either. Oh well. I was never the sort of autist who is fascinated by such
things as bus schedules. I am much more inclined to be enthralled by maps. I
wonder if I could make a L…
On Sunday the Psalm was the famous 23rd.
I’ve heard it so many times that I never expected anything new to come
wandering across the border from that hinterland, but there ya go. So, the
liminal phrase is this: “Your rod and your staff they comfort me,” or as
the CJB says, “your rod and staff reassure me.” I got to thinking, “Well, just exactly how does a shepherd
use a staff and a rod?” The staff is used to guide the sheep and to catch them.
Traditional staffs used in the UK have horn crooks with a sharp curled tip,
which I suspect is designed to catch in the fleece. The rod was essentially a
club used to defend against predators, but also as a goad to correct the sheep.
I’ve never really identified with the sheep; I mean they are
really not very smart and don’t have much of a survival instinct. I also have
misgivings about identifying myself as the shepherd of the sheep. So, I asked
myself, “What other role might I fill in the whole sheep-shepherd metaphor?”
and it came to me: Shee…
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) 4 Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, 5 not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered,
and it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not gloat over other people’s sins
but takes its delight in the truth. 7 Love always bears up, always trusts,
always hopes, always endures.
I’ve read this over about five times now, and it keeps on
growing in my mind. The above is only a part of the verse cited, but it’s the
part that kept reaching out and poking me. It’s the part that I felt was
reading me; the part that was peering
into my heart to see what is going on in there. It’s the part that sat down in
front of me with a questioning look on its face, put its chin in its hand, and
looked at me without saying anything. And kept on looking. Eventually I started noticing specific things; I started trying
to see what the verse was looking at in me. I noticed that it started out by
talking about what love is; then what it isn’t; then back …