Tag Archive: sacred ordinary things


you give

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you give
and you give
the emptying
is what fills you
you give
and you give
stretched and
outstretched and
enfolded
you give
and you give
and there is more
there is always more

Talitha Fraser

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You are faithful

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You are faithful
beyond an expectation.
You can still surprise me
and make me laugh.
Reveal things of extraordinary beauty
and terrible emptiness.
Having both helps us to appreciate
the beauty more.
You in the hard spaces – yes
and the mundane and inane too.
I am so grateful for You.

Talitha Fraser

Monbulk Creek – Belgrave

 

Perspective

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Hey, here… I brought you something.

 

 

 

What is it?

 

 

 

It’s just a little branch I picked up. I think it’s beautiful.

 

Some trash you picked up somewhere?

 

 

One man’s trash is another…
Oh. You don’t want it?

No. Why would I?

 

 

Then I’ll keep it.

What for?!

 

 

That’s what I do.

 

Look for the beauty in things no one wants.

Look for the beauty in things that seem broken and useless and try and find a place for them.

It’s the way you see things that makes them matter.

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Within the grip of winter, it is almost impossible to imagine the spring. The gray perished landscape is shorn of color. Only bleakness meets the eye; everything seems severe and edged. Winter is the oldest season; it has some quality of the absolute. Yet beneath the surface of winter, the miracle of spring is already in preparation; the cold is relenting; seeds are wakening up. Colors are beginning to imagine how they will return. Then, imperceptibly, somewhere one bud opens and the symphony of renewal is no longer reversible. From the black heart of winter a miraculous, breathing plenitude of color emerges.

The beauty of nature insists on taking its time. Everything is prepared. Nothing is rushed. The rhythm of emergence is a gradual slow beat always inching its way forward; change remains faithful to itself until the new unfolds in the full confidence of true arrival. Because nothing is abrupt, the beginning of spring nearly always catches us unawares. It is there before we see it; and then we can look nowhere without seeing it.

 

With thanks to Dusk for sharing this when I needed to hear it.
An excerpt of a meditation from From To Bless the Space Between Us by John O’Donohue 

 

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We are running a fortnightly bible study following our community dinner looking at the exegesis (interpretation) of the bible passages that underpin each of our community values. You can read the list of Values here so you know what’s coming up next.

These values can be relevant whatever context you live and work in just make the Word you own.


 

Value 3: Being amongst the people

We value sharing life with our neighbours, as a real expression of the kingdom amongst the marginalised. Our everyday involvement and identification means our mission is not so much what we do, but who we are.

Biblical basis: John 1:14, Philippians 2:1-11


 

Let’s read the value together… what words/phrases stand out?

  • no so much what we do but who we are – we can put a lot of expectation on what  we do, it is good to be reminded it’s the intention we bring to everything that makes it significant – not the projects themselves
  • everyday things (like cleaning, making a cup of tea, listening…) but also every day (not just on Sundays or during a planned activity slot – we are sharing with neighbours all our life
  • In the mall, everyone goes there for a reason – we didn’t go to get anything done but to be who we are in that space, bringing intentionality to our presence to listen, share hospitality, respond to whoever comes and whatever comes up.

 

Read the bible. What words/ideas stand out?
What can we learn from the bible about living the Value: Being amongst the people?

 


 

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.

We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,

like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.

 

Philippians 2: 1-13

If you have indeed experienced the encouragement of being united to Christ, and the support that genuine love offers, and the deep bonds of a shared life formed in the Spirit; if indeed you have any compassion and concern for me, then make my dreams come true: get your heads tuned to the one wavelength so that you will share a common love, a common dedication to the one cause, and a common mindset. Don’t let yourself be driven by self-centred ambitions or empty egotism, but keep your feet firmly on the ground and promote others ahead of yourself. To each one of you, I would say, don’t focus on doing what is in your own best interests, but on what is in the best interests of others. Model your attitude on the attitude of the Messiah, Jesus.

Although Jesus was the same as God in every way, he did not think of his God-like privileges as something to milked for all they were worth.

Instead, he laid it all aside and, with no more privileges than a slave, was born as a human being.

Having become a human being, he was the model of humility. He didn’t demand his own way but let God set the agenda; even when it included his own death, and a gruesome public death at that.

Because of all this, God has raised him to the status of number one and honoured him more highly than anyone else in the universe.

So now, just the mention of the name ‘Jesus’

should bring everyone to their knees; everyone who has ever lived or ever will. Everyone, everywhere will honour God by openly acknowledging that Jesus the Messiah is Lord of all!

Therefore, my dear friends, there is work to do. You have always stuck to the agenda that was set for you, so keep it up, not only when I am around but even more when I am gone. Continue to work at living the life for which you are being saved, and do so with such an awareness of how high the stakes are, that it fills you with awe and makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. For this is awesome stuff: it is God who is at work within you, making it possible for you to set your mind on what God wants and to work for those things which are ultimately pleasing to God.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


 

Reflection time… followed by sharing time.

Where do you see the kingdom of God at work in everyday and every day ways? …what are some things we do for the best interests of others?

Let’s write one story/word on one footprint – (turn some over to make pairs) – let’s lay them out and read each other’s… know these are the bonds our shared life are grounded in.

 

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Inspiration takes time I think.  Being present to what IS.  Seeing, hearing, touching, tasting what is already there as if with new eyes, new ears, new hands, new lips – appreciating with reverence and joy or delight the sacredness of ordinary things.  In this way: rocket from a friends garden, dived potatoes and tomatoes, eggs picked up by a housemate who also brings back that first coffee of the day. The meal is symbolic of more than the sum of its parts, overtones of love and life, aromas of sharing and community, flavour and savour more than mere fuel.  I wish everyone’s life could be made up of recognising these things that make life worth living… we get busy and we get blind.
I will taste the joy of being awake.

 

Let me love You

ourladyofmountcarmel

photo credit: Johan Bergström-Allen, http://www.carmelite.org/

the gold loses its lustre
candlelight yields
a warm reflection
but these are
sacred and ordinary things
fabric, candleholders, cross
they aren’t imbued with any
special strength of their own
how then shall I love You?
the dust motes suspended
in light from the window
they are golden too
and the fine
sunlit hairs of my arms
they are golden too
let me love You on
the ordinary and extraordinary days
let me love You in
ordinary and extraordinary ways
let me love You

 

Talitha Fraser