Friday, December 2, 2016

CL Litergy

Our halfway house has a lot of programing that helps our friends form a new way of life. The “Programing” usually happens at night when most of our residents are back from work. I lead a weekly Bible study where we focus on redefining character and self analysis, our psychologist offers individual and group sessions, we have therapeutic music sessions, and we go to church together as a household. Beyond this I have been thinking of ways to use regular moments of the day to influence thought and direction. Without additional groups or “programing” how could I insert “food for thought” that will inspire further conversation and offer insights to new ways of thinking?

I decided to utilize our lunch and dinner prayer time, since they were pre-existing moments when we were already together as a household, to implement a practice that has not been much a part of my life experience: liturgy. We picked a topic for each day of the week and put together a text using Scripture and prayer focusing on that topic. Everyday before lunch and dinner we read the text together and say a prayer. It’s not much, and that's the idea. But in subtle ways and with repeating rhythms, we work to keep truth at the forefront of our minds and on the tip of our tongues. I have been pleased with the conversations that have been inspired by these mini liturgies, and moments when I have heard them quoted later in the day.

Here they are, translated to english -

Confession (Monday)
I confess to Almighty God, and to you brothers and sisters,
That I have sinned by my own will in thought and in action,
Through what I have done and what I have left undone.
I ask you, brothers and sisters
To pray for me to the Lord our God.
*silence (for confession to God)
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy,
Brothers and sisters, have mercy.

Humility (Tuesday)                                      Job 1:21
Naked I came from my mothers womb, and naked I will go.
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Glory to the Father, glory to the Son, glory to the Holy Spirit.
Who was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

Forgiveness (Wednesday)                                           Eph. 1:7 and Mt 11:25
By the death of Christ on the cross
We are free and our sins are forgiven.
How wonderful is the grace of God that He has given with such generosity!
When you are praying, forgive those who have offended you,
So that your Father in heaven will also forgive your offenses.
Increase your grace in us, Lord
So that we can forgive all, even as we are forgiven all.
Make us truly free.

Identity (Thursday).                                             2 Cor 5:17-18
Whoever is in Christ is a new person,
The old has gone and the new has come.
All of this is the work of God, who in Christ transforms us from enemies into friends.
God gives us the task of bringing others who to also become friends with Him.

Father in heaven, help us to live this new identity.  
Help us to live as your friends.

Consecration.   (Friday).                                                 Romans 8:13-14
Whoever lives according to his human nature, dies spiritually;
Whoever by the Spirit of God puts to death sinful ways, lives spiritual life.
Whoever is guided by the Spirit of God lives as God’s child.
Surround us with your Spirit, Father.
Help us to be committed to Your path.

The beauty of liturgy is not that it is magical, but that it is rhythmic, historical, and physical. We have joined a tradition of God's gathered people to speak daily reminders of the ultimate direction we long for.

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