...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Monday Moravian 12/07/09

This Week's Watchword
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people and
redeemed them.
Luke 1:68

Monday's Text, December 7
Clothe yourselves with the new self,
created according to the likeness of God in
true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:24

Everything looks better when seen as a gift. Starting a daily examen with how we have received God's grace always seems more promising because perceiving life as gift, is apart, if not a requisite, of actually receiving God's love for ourselves and embodying grace to others. Most do not see their lives as a gift or a blessing. And that's why the therapeutic is so popular these days in and out of churches. We need healing to be able to see our life as gift, especially in the places where we feel cursed.

The Song of Zechariah, or the Benedictus in Luke 1:68ff., is a song declaring the dawn of God's tender mercy (1:78). This dawn of light is God's gift of mother-womb-love, a compassion from the gut not the head or even the heart. Does anatomy matter here? Those who are too heady and purpose- conscious, and those who are tossed by the shades of emotion and passion are taught by the faith of John the Baptizer's father, Zechariah. He's not talking about God's too big plan- he's taking about God's "daddy-ness."

We do not, finally surrender to an idea, a divine mover. The fire of our will rises and falls because we will always be filled with unfulfilled good intentions. But to throw yourself into the arms of God's tender mercy? Mom's arms? Like being clothed after the birthing of our baptism, the imperative in Ephesians 4 is to grow the new species, God's very image in us, first begun in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The work of God's righteousness (right relationship) and holiness (set-apartness) begun by God in us, deepens with our full agreement and surrender to God's love in Jesus.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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