EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise, Week 2, Palms Down

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Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”

Exploring: Hands Extended, Palms Down – Blessing

Leviticus 9:22-23 – Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down. Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people.

As God gives to us, we give to others—we extend our hands to give to and to bless others. As Moses and Aaron blessed the people, the glory of the Lord appeared—as we bless others, we reveal the glory of God through the generosity of our actions. We are the hands and feet of Christ.

Luke 24: 50-53 – When Jesus had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his Sacred Hearthands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

As the resurrected Jesus ascended to heaven, where he was seated at the right hand of the Father to rule and reign over heaven and earth, he extended hands of blessings to his followers to bless them. This blessing brought them great joy—joy that kept them continually in the presence of God.

Putting It Into Practice

This posture can be done standing or seated. As you experiment with today’s posture, imagine someone you love or someone you have been interceding for in front of you. Extend your hand, as if they are right there with you and you can place your hand on their head. Offer a blessing over their lives. Pray for them. Praise God for them and all they mean to you. Continue reading

7 :: “Today you will be with me…”

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“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Week 2

“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”  Luke 23:43

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Matt Durbin (c) 2010

Breath

Jesus, why are you

up here

with me,             why

is our blood

mixing                with dirt,

why do our lungs

heave out                as if

we have

the same spirit

in us

begging          to be            set free?

Why do we          keep

breathing,

                                            each inhalation,

                                                                                 a gasp.

All           I want             to do

is breathe out

a final                time. Continue reading

EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise, Week 1, Hands Raised

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Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”

Exploring: Hands Raised in Praise, Prayer & Petition

I Kings 8:22-23 – Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said: “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.”

Solomon is 1st giving words of praise to God; 2nd witnessing in front of everyone; and 3rd remembering God’s covenant of love.

I Timothy 2:8 – Therefore I want people everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

Here we find hands raised in prayer, and note that it is to be without anger or dispute in your heart.

Psalm 28:1-2 – I pray to you, O Lord, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die. Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands towards your holy sanctuary.

In this prayer, the writer David is petitioning God to hear his prayer with arms reaching. He cries out to God, lifting his hands towards God in heaven.

Putting It Into Practice

hands upThis posture can be done standing, seated or kneeling. I like to imagine I am a young child, reaching my arms up to my Father God. As you experiment with lifting hands towards God today, start by letting go of any anger you have towards another. Second, remember scripture says your hands are holy. Next, think about literally lifting your praise towards him, and finally, lift your prayer of petition (request) before him. Might I suggest using Chris Tomlin’s song I Lift My Hands as you do: Continue reading

Moving Creatively Through Lent

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Yesterday I posted information on a new series called EMBODIED that starts this Friday, February 16th and goes through Good Friday. Embodied is a 7 week-long exploration of postures of praise & prayer to help us move mindfully through the Lenten season. I will be posting one posture each week (on Friday) to take us through the season of Lent.

In addition, to further help us move through Lent creatively, I will also be posting from the previously featured  “7” Virtual Art-Walk series each week on Wednesdays throughout Lent, as well as reflections from our church’s Lenten sermon series on Monday of each week. The 7 Virtual Art-Walk includes the artwork of Matt Durbin, the poetry of Sarah Wells, and music that all focus on the last 7 words of Christ spoken from the cross. And our church (5 Stones Community Church) will be working with passages throughout Ephesians to help us prayerfully remember and reflect on Jesus during this season.

So…
Sermon reflections on Mondays 
7 Virtual Art-Walk on Wednesdays
EMBODIED exploration of postures of prayer & praise on Fridays
…starting this Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) and working our way through Good Friday, March 30th.

J from tombWhether you grew up in a high church tradition (one that celebrated Lent) or not (like mine), I pray that you will find a way to mindfully, creatively and prayerfully prepare your heart for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior on Resurrection Sunday, April 1st.

You can follow along by visiting http://www.jodythomae.com every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (and searching under the “Creative Spiritual Practices” tab), signing up to receive my emails (<– Look left or for + sign upper left), or following along on Instagram or Facebook. Stay connected by using the #GodsCreativeGift hashtag.

Continue reading

An Open Letter to the Other Side of the Aisle: a meditation on John 4

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“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. (John 4:19-22)

Dear Hymn-Singer on the Other Side of the Aisle, Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #251 — Nativity Shadow Dance

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Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 11.44.45 PMWe are nearing the end of our Create-A-Day 2015 posts. As we wind down, I want to leave you with a shadow dance to “O Magnum Mysterium” sung live for CHRISTmas Eve 2013 at Northland Church in Longwood, Florida. Such BEaUty!!

“O Magnum Mysterium” written & arranged by Morten Lauridsen

Original Text:
O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum. Alleluia. Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #250 — Infinite Windows

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Infinite Windows

I trust you had a blessed CHRISTmas holiday as you celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Did you know in traditional Christian church tradition, CHRISTmas lasts through Epiphany on January 6th? As we wind down from the CHRISTmas holiday weekend, let us remember that Jesus came both to LIVE as God among us (Incarnation) and to DIE as the final atoning sacrifice (Salvation). He is both Lion and Lamb, Alpha and Omega, Healer and Savior, Infant Babe and Victorious King!

Today let me refer you to an October post on Infinite Windows, a blog with meditations on faith and art. This post describes a powerful encounter the writer recently had with a piece of artwork at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The painting was Caravaggio’s Christ Crowned with Thorns, and it depicts Roman soldiers forcing the crown of thorns upon Jesus’ head. I am often astonished by the power of art to bring us into life-changing encounters and memories of God’s redemptive power, grace and love. Continue reading