Message from Pastor Diane Ford
– Setting New Year’s Resolutions: Two methods of Prayer
Your journey with the living Christ brings you to a gate. On the gate is a shiny sign that reads, “2017.” As you approach it, it opens. Your Companion looks at you and says “welcome to a new year – do you see what I see?” You look around to take in the view. “I guess I see what you see, Jesus,” you begin, “is there something special to notice?”
If you imagine a scene like this to begin a daily time of prayer this month, I would love to hear what you “see.” This time of year invites us to take time for reflection. Many recount the past year and set goals for the future. Prayer lives strengthen when we have a similar habit all year long – so I invite you to try this “gate” prayer and custom fit it to your life. You may imagine that the shiny sign on the gate reads, “Tuesday,” or rather than a time indicator, perhaps a concern, such as “Family Promise Clients.” Perhaps Christ guides you through a gate with a shiny sign bearing the name of someone who rubs you the wrong way.
Another method of prayer is to focus on attributes, names and titles for God. One name is Alpha and Omega. Alpha is the first letter and Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. To use our English letters, we might say Christ is our A and Z. In the book of Revelation, we hear Christ saying, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.”
How might the Beginning and the End impact your vision and goal-making? God is in every “beginning” and will be at every “ending” in our personal and universal history. But God is more than the “cosmic bookends” to our stories. Before someone cleverly used the Greek alphabet to try to describe God, that someone had a realization about the presence and dynamic reach of God. Can you imagine what they felt or sensed that led them to choose this analogy?
Our imagination is a powerful vehicle to opening ourselves to God’s Spirit. Staying grounded in scripture and community, we can hear God’s voice speaking to us through symbols, rituals, colors, music, movement, nature scenes and many other non-verbal, non-linear, unpredictable means.
So, as you pray in January, as you dream and plan, practice setting aside your logic and assumptions (a challenging thing to do!) and dare to open your imagination to conversations with God’s Spirit. Trust that you are in safe hands, there. Be patient for your eyes to adjust to the lighting. What do you see?
Building Healthy Relationships: Adding to Your Relational Toolbox
Saturday, February 4, 2017 • 1:00 pm – 5:00 PM • Lincroft Presbyterian Church
Facilitated by Rev. Cynthia Cochran-Carney
Interactive • Presentations • Discussion
Practical Applications for Your Committed Relationship
Materials from nationally respected couple/marriage-enrichment experts
Dr. Harville Hendrix, Helen LeKelly Hunt,
Gary Chapman and others.
$10 per person to cover costs of materials.
All Couples and Individuals Welcome
Register by January 30 at 732-741-8921
Lincroft Presbyterian Church, 270 Everett Road at W. Front St., Lincroft NJ 07738 http://lincroftpc.org.
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