5 hours ago
Monday, March 8: #ASW40daysgiveandpray For every window in the main room or floor of your home, pay 10¢. Ask that the light of Christ shine through you and make you an agent of God’s love in every situation and interaction. ... See MoreSee Less
14 hours ago
Beautiful colouring from our Psalms Devotional.
Why don’t you give it a try?
allsaintswhitby.org/news-events/ ... See MoreSee Less
All Saints', Whitby All Saints', Whitby added an event.
2 days ago
Sunday March 7th - 12:00pmJoin Deacon-Elect Joanne Warman online to explore how colouring can be a meditative and spiritual exercise. Bring the Psalm Daily Devotional, your crayons, and an open mind to the zoom, and be ready for this new type of prayer. ... See MoreSee Less
3 days ago
Arleane’s Thought and Prayer
Time, weariness and self-pity crept up on me this week, and a dozen false starts and failed finishes left me at the deadline without having written a proper Thought & Prayer of the Day.
On Monday, I was stuck in a defeated mood, unproductively ensconced on the living room chesterfield, ignoring my workload and simply watching snow streamers blow past the front windows. When I was a kid, my parents always remarked on the weather on the first day of March– “In like a lamb, out like lion” they’d say, or vice versa. If the weather was wild and ferocious on March 1st, then the month (and winter) would see itself out in a pleasantly meek fashion. If March 1st was meteorologically mild and lamb-like, this meant we could expect one more blast of wintery weather at the end of the month.
These ruminations … “wool-gathering,” if you will … had me thinking about lambs in various other maxims and sayings. The most uncomfortable of these is the expression, “lambs to the slaughter,” a phrase to describe someone entering into a fate in a very innocent way, without knowing that something bad will happen, as in, “She walked into the meeting like a lamb to the slaughter, without realizing the danger.”
My next mental leap was, of course, to the naming of Christ as the Lamb of God. In these terms, we do immediately think of humble servitude and an obedience even unto death. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.” But of course, Jesus knew his fate and willfully submitted to it. Jesus was like a lamb to the slaughter in a powerfully and sacrificially intentional way.
I know full well we are called to be similarly Christ-like, but it’s not a frame of mind or setting of my heart that comes easily these days. I’m a little weary of being sacrificial. I would much prefer things to be different than they are. My patience and resolve seem insufficient, (twelve months of a pandemic can take it out of you a bit, right?), and I am leaning more towards stumbling than steadfast.
But this is not cause for alarm. The comforting news is that my Redeemer and Advocate, the one I meet afresh each Lent and Easter in the Gospel telling of the Passion, is not an airbrushed, dewy-eyed lamb to the slaughter. Like me, He wasn’t above getting cross with hypocrites and slackers, wasn’t 100% certain all the time, and did notably get frustrated with the way things were going. This Jesus is at once for me a lion of God and a lamb of God, a table flipper and a table setter. Jesus knows what it’s like to be full of courage and purpose, at another moment angry or disappointed, and at yet another moment still, painfully tired and resigned.
What is more, I recall from the Gospel a few Sundays past, that the disciple Peter was himself famously rebuked by Jesus (also in one of Jesus’ short-tempered, wilderness moments) — “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Peter too wasn’t being very Christ-like or faithful, and yet he went from being the “stumbling block” to the rock on which the Church was founded. This is also comforting news.
I haven’t come up with the kind of Thought & Prayer I feel I should have. Instead, I have reminded myself (and perhaps you too, if you need this reminder) that Jesus knows what it’s like to be human, to falter, to be weary, to be resentful, and to get tripped up by human concerns, and yet to still be beloved of God and worthy. There are after all many stations of the cross, and it’s not a straight unfaltering walk.
I don’t have a prayer this week, except maybe to suggest we can thank God for finding and forgiving us when we lose our way or our focus or our confidence. In place of a prayer, I offer this poem, which for me captures the fragility and ferocity of Jesus and gives me permission and courage to bring my own human weaknesses to God.
It’s by Irish poet, Pádraig Ó Tuama.
Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
You weren’t that perfect, weren’t lamb-pure or cocksure
with certainty. You weren’t as innocent as you’re made
out to be. You knew people, you knew power games,
knew that the main aim of ambition is ambition.
You knew the names of other people’s fears because you
had plenty of your own. You knew the touch of a friend
was not dependent on their cleanliness, and you knew this
because you knew need, knew the way that story bleeds
through actions of a day, and how shame makes us
play parts that are beneath us. You are beneath us, and above us,
in the song we sang as children. You are in the piss and blood;
you are spit mixed with mud, you are the rotting hand of god, waiting
for a hand to hold. You’re not gold, you’re rock; cracked open. ... See MoreSee Less