My Lenten discipline of writing every day has been fruitful in that it has allowed me to tackle some of the more interesting things going on with my spirit. Here my seven takes on what I’ve learned and what is yet to be discussed.
I’m seriously out of practice in talking serious theology. This is a bit distressing considering that I spent a year doing postgraduate study in that area. I did discover, however, that many of the answers I give are either from Luther’s Small Catechism or from the “theses” that we went through in Systematic Theology. Props to my Systematic Theology professor Dr. Michael Root who is now on staff with the Catholic University of America because I’ve used those suckers for 10 years now in every parish to explain the faith to people. (He used to be a one of the go-to people for ecumenism in the ELCA as well as a professor at Trinity and then professor/academic dean at LTSS but “swam the Tiber” in 2010.) I should probably go back through my notes from those two quarters because 10 years later, I’m in a position to have to talk to my ladies at Bible study about “how it all hangs together”.
I’m not as “over” Daniel’s hospital stay last year as I thought. I’m getting smacked in the evenings with crying jags when it all hits me. Doing my Lenten writing for Wednesday on Tuesday night was excruciating and I’m thankful that one of the pastors I know through Facebook (and other things) happened to be online because I needed someone to pray with me. Their child’s major surgery was 17 years ago and the anniversary still elicits something so I have a feeling that every March 1st is going to be tough for me on some level.
I read an amazing article on the exodus of young people from the Christian faith on which I will be posting thoughts. If you’ve seen the sticky post at the top of ::Meditatio::, it states that I will keep my mouth shut on my thoughts about the GOP field. This doesn’t necessarily apply.
I’m wishing that I had waited until Lent to read Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner. I know several pastors for whom it is their Lenten book and the topic as well as her reflections would have been good to do as daily readings. I will still be drawing on chapters from it for posts however.
Doing my Lenten posting has reminded me of how much I deeply love the Psalms. So far, I’ve posted Psalm 55 and Psalm 13 and I’ve used the online Bible site Bible Gateway which has, according to the site, 100 versions in 50 languages. (They’re not lying — I’ve used them for Pentecost posts in the past where I break the Acts 2 passage down by verse into different languages.) Anyway, they have the King James Version which just celebrated its 400th birthday and it’s my choice for the Psalms because I love their rendering in Elizabethan English. There’s a reason they are considered “the songbook of the Bible” other than the fact that they were used in the Temple in Jerusalem — they encompass pretty much every emotion that exists and at least 1/3 to 1/2 are ones that convey disappointment and sadness yet end on a positive note.
I do need to write about prayer and its power at some point. Whatever I write will probably be partially based on the chapter entitled “Healing Prayer” from Lauren Winner’s book because I should talk about it. The times during seminary when we had healing prayer were powerful as were the times I went when I attended Church of the Incarnation in Great Falls. Otherwise, I’ll probably talk about Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, or Compline. (Yes, all those exist in the Lutheran Book of Worship — the green hymnal which is the predecessor to the cranberry one that exists now for the ELCA which is what we use at Metanoia.)
I do need to find an Episcopal priest to meet with for Confession. Why am I going to an Episcopal priest? I am going to them because they have a rite in their prayerbook for it and I think that after the events of the last couple years, I could use a chance to unburden my soul a bit. The Episcopal church in town is without a full-time pastor (not to mention that if they had one, Jon would probably know them) so I will probably have to go to Sacramento to do this. I need to download a copy of Reconciliation by Fr. Martin Smith for my NOOK so I can read through it and review the preparation necessary. It will likely be after March 15th because I’ve got Daniel things on the 2nd and 9th.
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