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Posts Tagged ‘Romans 8:18-25’

Give us the Courage to Wait and the Courage to Say Yes

December 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Used this in a small group earlier in the week.  Borrowed post title from a 2009 post by Ruth Haley Barton and used some of the poetry on her 2011 advent posts here and here.

Introduction

  • Which is harder—to wait? Or to say yes?  Do not both need courage? Identify one area or thing for which you are waiting?
  • Which is harder for you—to wait or to say yes?  Share with a partner.

 Sometimes, we need the courage to wait

 Read together as a big group the following passage:

It appears to me that whatever we suffer now will show up only dimly when compared to the wonders God has in store for us.  It is as though all creation is standing on tiptoe longing to see an unforgettable vision, the children of God being born into wholeness.

Although creation is unfinished, still in the process of being born, it carries within it a secret hope. And the hope is this: A day will come when we will be rescued from the pain of our limitation and incompleteness and be given our share in a freedom that can only belong to the children of God.

At the present moment of all creation is struggling as though in the pangs of childbirth.  And that struggling creation includes even those of us who have had a taste of the spirit.  We peer into the future with our limited vision, unable to see all that we are destined to be, yet believing because of a hope we carry so deep within.
Romans 8:18-25 paraphrased by Macrina Wiederkehr.  Read this in her 1991 book, Seasons of Your Heart

Sing Together the following song

Wait for the Lord whose day is near
Wait for the Lord
Keep watch, Take Heart

Responsive Reading.

The group will read together the bold print after the other lines are read

For the darkness of waiting
of not knowing what is to come
of staying ready and quiet and attentive,
we praise you, O God:

For the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

For the darkness of staying silent
for the terror of having nothing to say
and for the greater terror
of needing to say nothing,
we praise you, O God:

For the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

For the darkness of loving
in which it is safe to surrender
to let go of our self-protection
and to stop holding back our desire,
we praise you, O God:

For the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

For the darkness of choosing
when you give us the moment
to speak, and act, and change,
and we cannot know what we have set in motion,
but we still have to take the risk,
we praise you, O God:

For the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

For the darkness of hoping
in a world which longs for you,
for the wrestling and laboring of all creation
for wholeness and justice and freedom,
we praise you, O God.

For the darkness and the light
Are both alike to you.

From Bread of Tomorrow: Prayers for the Church Year, Janet Morley, ed. (Mary Knoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1992), p. 22, 23.  From Barton Haleys’s post here

Group Prayer for those who are waiting

Sometimes, we need the courage to say yes

Mary’s prayer shows us the way.  “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”Mtt 1:38

Share with a partner one thing for which you need the courage to say yes.  Then, if you are comfortable, read/pray the following prayer with a partner.  Pray for one another.

A Prayer of Abandonment

Father,
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you;
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures—
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need
to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands
without reserve and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.  Amen.

Charles de Foucauld
Found this poem on Ruth Haley Barton’s post here

Group Prayer for those needing the Courage to say Yes

 

The Power of Hope

December 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Following is a paraphrase of Romans 8:18-25 by Macrina Wiederkehr in the 1991 reprint of her book, Seasons of the Heart.

It appears to me that whatever we suffer now will show up only dimly when compared to the wonders God has in store for us.  It is as though all creation is standing on tiptoe longing to see an unforgettable vision, the children of God being born into wholeness.

Although creation is unfinished, still in the process of being born, it carries within it a secret hope. And the hope is this: A day will come when we will be rescued from the pain of our limitation and incompleteness and be given our share in a freedom that can only belong to the children of God.

At the present moment of all creation is struggling as though in the pangs of childbirth.  And that struggling creation includes even those of us who have had a taste of the spirit.  We peer into the future with our limited vision, unable to see all that we are destined to be, yet believing because of a hope we carry so deep within.

Wiederkehr writes the following as a reflection on Romans 8.

Could it be true
That some folks die
Because our hope is too small
To bring them forth?

It is good to remember:
We do not give birth to ourselves.
We give birth to others
By believing in that first, small spark of life
The spark we can barely see.

It is called hope.
Immensely hopeful
At birth.

After reading the above, I wrote the following confession:

Forgive me Lord for not having hope
Forgetting hope
not believing
not feeling
not trusting

They need the gift of hope I can offer them
And when I withhold hope
They suffer
Die
Or may never be born
Forgive me Lord

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