“Wherever the waters flow, they bring health.”

Ezekiel 47:9

Quote of the Week: Healing

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Deacon Lincoln’s Log 9-15-13

His Father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast…’”

Lk. 15:22-23

In the parable of the lost son (Lk. 15), the father welcomes his younger son back with open arms. This is the son who asked for his inheritance early and left his father behind to pursue his own selfish ends. It is for this son that the father throws a party.

Like the father, Jesus embraces those who have left God behind to pursue their own desires. And that is a great gift to us. We, the church, are like that younger son. Each one of us has chosen to leave God behind in some way. Jesus welcomes us to the divine feast. That’s grace.

But grace doesn’t stop there. The grace of God’s mercy cannot be contained. If celebrating our own salvation becomes all we do, we have turned salvation into another selfish goal. We have owned it and forgotten that it is a gift. It is true that we have been included in the Father’s feast, but God’s mercy flows beyond our selfishness.

Like the servant in the parable, God’s grace empowers us to prepare the feast. When God’s mercy touches a human heart, we, the church, are there to rejoice and celebrate. We aid the repentant sinner and embrace them, showing them a new way of life. That’s grace. But God’s grace doesn’t stop there.

Imagine the end of the parable. The elder son is standing alone while the party continues inside. He hears the joy and laughter but can’t bring himself to go in. Imagine the younger son coming out of the party to embrace him. He and the father listen to him and meet him in the midst of his anger and pain. After hearing him out, they apologize for their own failings and invite him in to share the feast. That’s grace.

God’s grace has been poured into our hearts…. but it doesn’t stop there. It has been given to us to be shared.

Peace,

Lincoln A. Wood

Gratitude

Father, we acknowledge your greatness: all your actions show your wisdom and love. You formed us in your own likeness and set us over the whole world to serve you, our creator, and to rule over all creatures. Even when we disobeyed you and lost your friendship you did not abandon us to the power of death, but helped all to seek and find you. Again and again you offered a covenant to us, and through your prophets taught us to hope for salvation. Father, you so loved the world that in the fullness of time you sent your only Son to be our savior.

Eucharistic Prayer IV

Cloud of Unknowing

“The Cloud of Unknowing teaches that we can achieve communion with God only through the Grace of divine Love. To prepare ourselves to receive this gift, we must enter a state of quiet stillness, suspended between heaven and earth. Above – between us and God – lies a mysterious “cloud of unknowing”, which our understanding can never penetrate. Between us and the world, we must create a “cloud of forgetting”, leaving conscious thought and desire below. In this timeless place of forgetting and unknowing, we may begin to hear that for which we are listening.
John Luther Adams

Being Chosen

“When we look into the Selectiveness which the Christians attribute to God we find in it none of that ‘favoritism’ which we were afraid of. The ‘chosen’ people are chosen not for their own sake (certainly not for their own honour or pleasure) but for the sake of the unchosen. Abraham is told that ‘in his seed’ (the chosen nation) ‘all nations shall be blest’. That nation has been chosen to bear a heavy burden. Their sufferings heal others. On the finally selected Woman falls the utmost depth of maternal anguish. Her Son, the incarnate God, is a ‘man of sorrows’; the one Man into whom Deity descended, the one Man who can be lawfully adored, is pre-eminent for suffering.”
C.S. Lewis