Friday, March 25, 2011

"The Lord is with you"

"Study for 'Ecce ancilla Domini!'
by Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1849

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Luke 1:26-38

TO CHEW ON: "And having come in the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.'" Luke 1:28

I wonder what the angel found Mary busy at when he came into her Nazareth house. Perhaps she was sweeping or preparing food, sewing or tending the fire, daydreaming or folding clothes. Whatever she was doing, the angel's pronouncement, "The Lord is with you" tells us God had watched and was there, present with her in her everyday living.

God is no less involved in the day-to-day of our lives. And we can be aware of Him by inviting Him into the mundane. I am reminded of Brother Lawrence, that 17th century man, of whom it is said in the preface to his recorded conversations and letter The Practice of the Presence of God:

"No conceited scholar was Brother Lawrence: theological and doctrinal debates bored him, if he noticed them at all. His one desire was for communion with God, We find him worshiping more in his kitchen than in his cathedral: he could pray with another

Lord of all pots and pans and things...
Make me a saint by getting meals
And washing up the plates!

And he could say, "The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God n as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees" -  p. 8 (in my 1976 edition).

Of course God is with us too, whether we acknowledge His presence or not. But why not? Here are some little things we might do to help us in this:

  • Play praise music while we work, instead of listening to talk radio or TV.
  • Review memorized scripture.
  • Pray for family members, friends, and the world situation as these things come to mind, even as our hands are busy dusting or setting the table.
  • Lay before Him the problems that come up as they occur to us.
  • Use our imaginations to see those around us as if Jesus were right beside us (because He is).

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to practice Your presence by consciously inviting You into every setting, gathering, and activity. Amen.

MORE: "He is Here" - Gaither vocal band

Today the church celebrates "The Feast of the Annunciation." The liturgy for the day begins with this collect:

"Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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