June 18 – June 24, 2019

WORD

6On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.  7And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever.  8Then the LORD God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.  9It will be said on that day, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.  This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

Isaiah 25:6-9

1Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son.  3He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come.  4Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’  5But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them.  7The king was enraged.  He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.  8Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy.  9Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’  10Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.  11But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’  And he was speechless.  13Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Matthew 22:1-14

Reflection: On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food.

What feeds your soul?  In the Hebrew, the word naphesh, is alternatively understood as soul or living being.  We often misidentify our soul with our spirit, but actually the soul is the complete harmonious whole of the spirit, mind, heart, body, will, and relational aspects of a person.  God desires our soul to be united with him in shalom – peaceful, loving, holy unity.  To accomplish this, God supplies nourishment for our whole selves by his presence and providence.

To consider, then, what feeds your soul, you must ask several questions: How does God want to feed my spirit today?  How does God want to feed my mind?  How does God want to feed my heart, etc.?  These questions can be expressed other ways.  For our minds, for example, we need to ask: What thoughts will ground my mind in God today and provide me with clarity?  When considering our bodies, we might ask: In what ways will the use of my body today be pleasing to God and will promote wholeness?

So what are you feeding your mind with?  Your heart?  Your spirit, body, and will?  Are you surviving on junk food of the mind?  Are you indulging the empty dishes the world offers our hearts?  Are you being nourished in spirit?  Is your body longing for something wholesome?  Is your will starving from poor decisions?  What are you feeding yourself?  Remember that God wants to feed you!

God has set a table for us, daily, to feast upon with our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies, and wills.  God wants our whole selves to experience holiness, wholeness, and healing.  What will you feast on today in the fullness of your being that will fill you with such blessings from God?  How will you bring your whole self to the table of God today?  We must not be deceived; we cannot compartmentalize a “spiritual” life and separate the rest of who we are from communion with God.  Our spirits cannot take a seat at God’s table while the rest of us misses the banquet.  God is calling your heart, mind, body, and will to the table as well.  Feed them with God’s feelings, thoughts, strength, and actions.  There is a place for all of you at the table of God.

Journaling Focus: But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’  And he was speechless.  Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

What an interesting postscript Jesus adds at the end of this parable.  What do you imagine it means?  As you journal this week, consider several of the questions below and what significance this passage might have for your life.

  • What does it mean to be “not wearing a wedding robe” at the banquet of God?
  • Why is it important to be “clothed” in these ways at the banquet of God?
  • How do we receive such garments?
  • What would you have said to the King if you had been asked where your wedding robe was?  Would you have been speechless too?
  • How can you make sure you are fully prepared for the banquet of God?

Sacred Reading:

This practice allows you to listen to the Scripture for the week (sometimes in larger context) and to open yourself up to God’s voice in that Scripture.

 

  • Click on the audio link above and listen to the Scripture.  As you listen this first time, ask God to point out to you a word or phrase from the Scripture.
  • Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a second time.  As you listen this second time, ask God to reveal to you the holy intentions for this word or phrase that is being spoken into your life.
  • Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a third time.  As you listen this third time, ask God how you might respond to this word or phrase being spoken into your life today.

Explore: If you would like to explore the Scripture more deeply, go to our Exploring Scripture page!

 

SPIRIT

Scripture Song:

Listen to the song, His Banner over Me.  This was one of my favorite praise choruses as a teenager.  The verses come directly from passages in Song of Solomon.  As you listen, consider what it means to be brought to the table of God in love.  What is God communicating to you through this song? What might you communicate to God through this song?

Prayer Focus: The wedding hall was filled with guests.

We should always be in prayer for the poor and those who are hungry, as well as working as best we can to aid the poor and hungry.  But there are also many who are well-fed with adequate means who are nevertheless hungering and thirsting for God.  Pray for those who are looking and longing for God, that they might find their way to the wedding banquet of the Lamb.  Ask God to put such persons in your path so that you might invite them and lead them to the banqueting table of God.

Meditation Focus: The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son.

NOTE: During these ten weeks, as we explore the images of God, the meditation will be an audio meditation. There are four pictures that will appear with each meditation. These pictures are referenced in the audio meditation and are intended to help bring focus to the audio meditation.

 

Examen:

Take some time to reflect upon your day or your week.  Follow the process below and open yourself up to the presence and work of God in your life this week.  Every week the structure is the same, but some specifics are changed to reflect the Scripture of the week.

  • Find a place and posture that will prepare you for prayer.
  • Begin by breathing in deeply through your nose and breathing deeply out of your mouth.
  • Invite God to lead you through the previous day or week.  For instance, if it is Tuesday night, reflect back on Tuesday morning, afternoon, and evening.  If it is Saturday or Sunday, reflect back on Monday through Friday.
  • Ask God to guide you through these questions:
    • How is God feeding you?
    • Where is God asking you to set a table of loving grace?
    • Are you prepared for the feast of God?
  • Thank God for this journey of reflection on your day or week.  Ask God to continue to reveal Godself to you tomorrow.

Holy Action: 

As you sit down to a meal with friends or family this week leave an empty chair at the head of the table to remember the presence of God with you.  Spend a moment in quiet stillness before the meal begins to consider how God might want to feed you through this act of fellowship and unity at the table.  Allow God’s presence to color your conversation and interactions around the table.

Breath Prayer: LORD God, feed us with your presence.

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