January 26, 2020, 1 Kings 8:54-61 – Post 3 – ISSL Reflection

As I have listened to and watched Solomon over the last several weeks (and David before him), a question has been become prominent for me, “How do we enter into and leave a sacred time or sacred space?”

I do not want to draw too fast a line between the sacred and secular because that will be a disservice to ourselves and God but there are those times and spaces we often set apart to the sacred. I am thinking first of times of prayer and worship.

How do you enter into a time of prayer? Is there something you do physically? Solomon knelt and lifted his hands. Are there some words that seem to open a door to prayer for you?

I am not at all suggesting there must be a particular formula we always follow or otherwise think/feel we have not prayed. But I am asking that we think about what might help us enter a time of prayer.

And how do we leave that sacred time of prayer. Yes, Paul said we are to pray without ceasing, and that (for me) speaks to us cultivating an awareness of God’s nearness, but I suspect we can also acknowledge we experience times of depth in our prayer. Do we say, “Amen” and get on about our ordinary business? We say the Lord’s Prayer? Is there another way to move from prayer to other work in your life?

We can also reflect on how we enter and leave a time of community worship. Does hearing and singing the Doxology help open you to a time of worship? It does for some.

And when a time of worship draws to a close do you expect to hear, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord”? Or maybe hear the Aaronic blessing, “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

There is no one way to enter or depart a time of prayer or worship, but there might be things we can do that help us more fully enter a sacred time or space. What helps you?

So, until next week when we get back together …

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace …..

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}


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