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The Contemplative Companion for Thursday, April 24, 2014

All life is uniquely provided for.

Today, awake to my place in the order of creation, I say thank you in a deeper way, realizing mindfulness comes from above.

“What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him?”  – Psalm 8.2

 


 

© 2014 The Contemplative Companion  

A Resource of  ContemplativeChristians.com

The Contemplative Companion for Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In the realm of Spirit, I remember that there is an emptiness that is fullness and a poverty that is wealth.

Today, I welcome the power that the Name of Jesus announces.

If I have not yet experienced that power, I request the gift of rising and walking and seeing.

“Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”  – Acts 3.6


© 2014 The Contemplative Companion  

A Resource of  ContemplativeChristians.com

The Contemplative Companion for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Today, I request to feel the kindness of hope working in my soul – that essential part of me that feels the difference awareness of God makes throughout the day.

“Our soul waits for God, who is our help and our shield. May your kindness, O God, be upon us who have put our hope in you.”  – Psalm 33.22


© 2014 The Contemplative Companion  

A Resource of  ContemplativeChristians.com

The Contemplative Companion for Monday April 21, 2014

Christ, alive and risen is present. We are connected as wave to sea; eternity to time, height to depth, life to death.

Whatever fears may arise as this exquisite joy touches my heart today, I will run to the arms of my community of faith to share the journey of discovery.

“Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples.”   - Matthew 28.8

© 2014 The Contemplative Companion  

A Resource of  ContemplativeChristians.com

 

 

Maundy Thursday Reflection

by peter traben haas

“For you will certainly carry out God’s purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.”       - C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p. 98.

In a way, we are all Christians because of Judas Iscariot. He played a difficult but important role in God’s journey with humankind.

According to the New Testament Gospel accounts, Judas played the role of being the one who gave in to his deepest fears and desires, and because of his sense of guilt and shame Judas did not let the grace of God into the deepest, darkest place of his broken heart. It is easy to identify with Judas when we put it like that.

How many times have we felt unworthy of God’s love and forgiveness? Perhaps you might still feel that way in a hidden corner of your life. Perhaps there is something you have said or done; some secret addiction or temptation you struggle with that you keep in hiding from everyone, including yourself, because you can’t believe or accept that God’s love is big enough to handle that.

What is interesting to note is that both Judas and Peter failed their Master. Judas betrayed him and Peter denied him. They are both actions driven by the false self (or shadow side), both psychological terms that give nuance to the human condition.

However, the insight regarding both of these  failures was how they responded and dealt with their shame and guilt. Whereas Peter grieved and wept his sin, Judas despaired and gave in to the overwhelming negative thoughts which led him to not only betray Jesus but also resist Christ’s healing love into his human brokenness. Peter grieved and was restored (John 21. 20 – 23), but Judas despaired and took his life.

Perhaps we might ponder what might have happened if Judas had not despaired and taken his life. Would he have been able to receive the forgiveness of Jesus knowing how he contributed to his death? Surely we are given a clue as to the possibility of total forgiveness from the lips of Jesus on the cross, “Father forgive them for they know now what they do” (Luke 23.35). Surely this included Judas who played a key role in what was being done to Jesus.

Finally, consider this profound truth in the light of the majestic declaration of the Apostle Paul, someone who once also had a hidden shadow side acting out with judgment, hatred and violence, but who had also repented in the light and love of Christ and was healed, transformed and redeemed forever:

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8. 38 – 39).

The “anything else” includes our own negative thoughts, feelings of shame, guilt and unworthiness, and even our darkest shadow side. When we surrender to God’s love, all things are possible and we, and all the Judas’ who have ever lived are invited to discover our new life together in Christ  (2 Corinthians 5.17).

Nan Merrill’s translation of the Psalms is utterly beautiful and meaningful. Her translation of Psalm 140 is particularly poignant in light of the story of Judas and our own inner struggles. Take these words as we journey into the dark hours with Christ in the Garden, and await the Good Friday Cross:

“Deliver me, O Giver of Breath and Life, from the fears that beset me; help me confront the inner shadows that hold me in bondage, like a prisoner who knows not freedom. They distract me from all that I yearn to be, and hinder the awakening of hidden gifts that I long to share with others.”

© 2014 ContemplativeChristians.com. All Rights Reserved.

Getting Ready for Good Friday / a prayer-poem

by peter traben haas

 

Take my eyes and see the bonds that bind the earth to me in body and love.

Walk out from the dark chambers of silence and see the shadow shards in the Nissan moonlight.

So simple this way of blight sight, seeing beyond the contraction of knowings.

Held steady in your great eye; that which sees is also seen.

God-life on beams stretched by sinews of surrender.

Amen.

© 2014 ContempativeChristians.com. All Rights Reserved.

 

Freedom from Your Tombs – A sermon by Peter Traben Haas

In this Lenten sermon, pastor Peter Traben Haas uses the miracle story of Lazarus’ raising from the dead to help us discover deeper inner freedom and healing.


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