Monday, May 30, 2016

Cook me a fish

Photo credit:
In worship service yesterday, at the end of the sermon, our pastor lead an amazing guided meditation on a passage in Scripture. He recounted the story told in John 21. It is during the period of time after Jesus's death and resurrection. Some of the disciples were fishing when, from the boat, they saw and had a conversation with a man on the shore. It was pre-dawn and the man on the beach was tending a fire, preparing to cook breakfast. The disciples soon realized the man was Jesus. The pastor invited us to enter the scene, to look into Jesus’s face and to hear our conversation.

And today I repeated the exercise at home. I read the passage in John 21 and sat in silence, my eyes closed, waiting to go deeper, to encounter Him.
His face was radiant, glowing in the firelight as the sun began to peek over the horizon. And He was glowing because it had all come to pass and He had conquered death, just as He promised. There was a tender, gentle glow of satisfaction, of knowing that God’s word had been fulfilled, His work was done. Everything, even the suffering and death, was worth it. I just looked at Him and He looked at and into me, knowing everything. And He said to me: “I will be with you until the end of the ages.”
So I just sat with Him, not wanting to leave, afraid that if I opened my eyes He would be gone. And I said to Him, “Lord, would you cook me a fish?”
It was such a profound, deep experience that I hesitate to try to describe it, that it will somehow sully the experience or reduce it to something unexceptional. But I want to share the reality that—whether it’s this passage for you or something else—it is possible to enter a very deep communion with God. I am not doing anything extraordinary, just opening the door and asking Him to be with me. And maybe cook me a fish.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Psalm 151

Me: Lord, send me somewhere in Scripture. What do I need to hear?

God: Psalm 151

Me: Okay. I can’t remember anything about Psalm 151 but I trust that it has a message for me. (At which point, I pick up my Bible, page through to the back of the Book of Psalms and find that the last psalm is Psalm 150.)

Me: Umm . . . Lord, there is no Psalm 151.

God:  . . . . (the sound of crickets. . . )

A psalm of Donna, an aging woman, in the pre-apocalyptic era

Psalm 151

Lord, tell me what to say to you that would please you. My words are not sufficient. But I can only trust that the imperfection of my words—written in deep love and yearning for you—will be sufficient, for you know that I am a flawed human being yet you love me.

Lord, my God, I love you and praise you. My heart overflows with gratitude.

You, my father, hold me in your arms, comforting me and protecting me.

Although my feet stand on broken glass, my heart and soul are bound to you, reaching for heaven.

Lord, I can never have enough of you. The more I know you, the more I move into your presence, the more I want of you. I pray that the mustard seed of your presence in me will grow until I disappear and all that remains is you.

Teach me, Lord. Illuminate the ways that please you and extinguish my many faults. Mold me into the image of your son.

Bring me to a higher plain, into closer communion with you until that glorious day when I slip out of this mortal coil and am forever with you.