Thursday, December 9, 2010

dhyana-the group

Centering Prayer & Meditation
December 9, 2010

Are you awake?
This meditation is excerpted from the book “Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now,” by Gregory A. Boyd.

Living in Love
Whoa! Challenging chapter. In this chapter of Boyd’s book, he gets right to the heart of learning to live in love of others.

The chapter begins with a discussion about our addiction to information. Contemporary Christians are very much into reading books, hearing sermons and attending seminars. We do this because we have the belief that acquiring more information will help us grow and become more Christ-like. This quote by Brother Lawrence says it all:

“We need neither art nor science for going to God. All we need is a heart resolutely determined to apply itself to nothing but Him, for His sake, and to love Him only.”

I know in my own life, I tend to rely on a lot of research to improve myself. I Google, I read books and I ask others about whatever it is I want to become part of my life. In fact, Boyd’s book is one of the many I have collected recently about meditation. On Friday night I plan to attend a class about meditation. I am currently participating in a global meditation challenge to practice for 11 minutes each day for 40 days.

But ultimately, what has really helped me in my practice is just DOING IT.

Boyd does not throw out information as a bad thing. But he does gently encourage us to just DO the practice of awareness of God’s presence. We are to practice loving each other as Jesus does. We need to practice seeing others as individuals that Christ died for. No matter how much they may annoy us or hurt us.  He says, “It’s not about having a nice warm feeling toward another. It’s about ascribing worth to another, at cost to ourselves when necessary.”

I John 3:16: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

Boyd points out that loving like Jesus requires next to no information.

So back to the “Present Moment” thing: we will not be successful in our attempts to love as Christ loved unless we are aware of His presence in our lives each moment. If we can learn to see each moment as a sacred moment in God’s presence, then we can see each encounter with others as sacred, as well.
And so, Boyd gives us this challenge: “…to remain awake to the truth that each person you encounter has unsurpassable worth, not because of anything worthwhile you happen to see in them, but because their Creator thought them worth dying for.”  And this is the essence of what it means to seek first the Kingdom of God:

Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

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