With a group of deacons, I am reading Phileena Heuertz’s book Mindful Silence. At the end of each chapter she outlines a specific prayer. The second chapter asks us to spend time in silence picturing the scene of Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52).
Bartimaeus cries out, but the crowd silences him, pushes him back. Yet Jesus hears. And stops. Then Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you?”
How can I describe this encounter? John teaches us that God is Love. CS Lewis writes we can not reverse the phrase to Love is God. As though our feelings deserve awe and reverence. But what does it mean that God is Love? Lewis writes “the living dynamic activity of love has been going on in God forever and has created everything else” (Mere Christianity). God is not static. Someone or something simply to be known. But God is active. — To encounter God is not simply to know love, it is to BE Loved.
So Phileena Heuertz asks us imagine this moment and put yourself in the place of Bartimaeus. In the silence, hear Jesus ask you, “What do you want me to do for you?”. Bartimaeus answers, “Rabbi, I want to see”, but in the silence what words bubble up as your response?
Make this your Breath Prayer. Name God. Baritmaeus said “Rabbi”, but choose your own, Lord, Savior, Creator, … Then say the words that bubbled up. Maybe grant me peace or heal my friend, or …
Throughout the day makes these words your prayer. It is called a Breath Prayer, because it is repeated like breathing. And with each repetition know you are embraced by God’s love.
This Sunday we continue the LIVe. The logo may have sprung up from the super Roman numeral 54, but the core is built out of Philippians 3. What does it mean to live for Christ? What does this life look like? To put it another way, when faced with Third and 14 how do we live?
This week we focus on Philippians 1. Though Paul is in chains he rejoices and calls for others to join the joy… his encounter with Jesus overcame the darkness of the moment.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)