Saturday, April 15, 2017

We light the candles.

We praise You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who makes us holy by Your mitzvot and commands us to light the Sabbath and festival candles.

Mighty is God.
May Adonai’s kingdom be established speedily and in our days.
God is first, great, exalted.
God is glorious, faithful, righteous, gracious.
God is pure, unique, mighty, wise, majestic, awesome, splendid, strong, redeeming, righteous.
God is holy, compassionate, almighty, and powerful.

No blessing is said when we break the middle matzah, because its brokenness is a symbol of incompleteness. It reminds us of all that needs repair (tikkun) in our world. Lather we will taste a piece of the Afikomen, the larger portion of the middle matzah, again without reciting a blessing. This will affirm our belief that completeness will come in the future.

Last night we, including momma, Brandon, Erik who is seven hours younger than Brandon, and I, gathered around the table next door, joining the Wittenbergs for their Passover Seder.

Haggadah means “telling.”
Ve´higadaeta l´vincha… And you shall tell it to your child.”

And each note of the song and prayers and symbolism was bound up in the heart of Rachel, as she joyously led us through this celebration of God’s past faithfulness and His promise of future restoration and freedom.

Thus Adonai our God brought us out of Egypt, not by an angel, nor by a seraph, nor by a messenger, but alone–with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with great terror, and with signs and wonders.

In each generation, everyone must think of himself or herself as having personally left Egypt.

It is our duty to give thanks, sing praises, and offer blessings to the Holy One Who did these miracles for our ancestors and for us. For bringing us:
            From slavery to freedom,
            From sadness to joy,
            From darkness to light.
Therefore let us sing a new song, Halleluyah.
Give praise to Adonai.
Sing praises, those who serve Adonai.
Blessed is the Name of Adonai now and forever.

Stand back and you will be amazed.

Friday, April 14, 2017

With His arms lifted wide.

Though His state was that of God,
Yet He did not deem equality with God
Something he should cling to.
Rather, He emptied Himself,
And assuming the state of a slave,
He was born in human likeness.
He being known as one of us,
Humbled himself, obedient to death,
Even death on a cross. Philippians 2: 6-8

In Greek the verb kenosein means to “let go,” or to “empty oneself,” and this is the word that Paul chooses to describe “the mind of Christ.”

In this beautiful hymn, Paul recognizes that Jesus had only one “operational mode.” Everything He did, He did by self-emptying. He emptied Himself and descended into human form. And He emptied Himself still further, “even unto death on the cross.” In every life circumstance, Jesus always responded with the same motion of self-emptying–or to put it another way, descent: taking the lower place, not the higher. –Cynthia Bourgeault

So mom and I were up at the cabin last night, and of course I woke up nice and early and sat by a little fire and watched the sun climb up over the mountain ridge. And the stories we shared, sifting through the baskets of photographs tucked into the mind and heart, is a reminder that going low, taking the lower place, the death produces life. It is never the clinging or closed fisted one who drops the pebble that ripples outward into eternity.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

I need Thee every hour.

Patiently wait for God alone, my soul!
For He is the one who gives me confidence.
He alone is my protector and deliverer.
He is my refuge; I will not be upended.
God delivers me and exalts me;
God is my strong protector and my shelter.
Trust in him at all times, you people!
Pour out your hearts before Him!
God is our shelter!
Selah                          Psalm 62:5-8


What we do is very little. But it is like the little boy with a few loaves and fishes. Christ took that little and increased it. He will do the rest. What we do is so little that we may seem to be constantly failing. But so did He fail. He met with apparent failure on the Cross. But unless the seeds fall into the earth and die, there is no harvest. –Dorothy Day


I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.


I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh.


I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.


I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.


I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
Oh, make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.


This meeting is to get us back to the presence of God,

to get back to depending on Him.

I don’t know what you stand in need of,

but I need God to speak in my life,

And if you need God to do stuff in your life, one last time,

I need Thee, oh, every hour, I need Thee.

Oh, bless, me now, my Savior, Hallelujah!

One more time, say it with me,

Don’t be sophisticated, come on tell Him,

I need Thee every hour. –Pastor Dewey

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Psalm 143:10

Lord, I thank You for my journey. You’ve brought me a long, long, way.
Lord, You’ve brought me over the hills and mountains.
Lord, You’ve brought me a long, long way.
I had to cry sometimes, but You’ve brought me,
Lord, You’ve brought me a long, long way.
Lord, I thank You for my journey.

Lord our God, O great and almighty One, whose Spirit fills heaven and earth! We thank You that You are our Father and that in You we have a refuge wherever we must go as we serve You on earth. We thank You that Your life can be revealed in us and can flow through us so that the world may be blest by You, our loving and caring Father. Protect us and strengthen us in times of trouble and sorrow. When we travel on new paths, give us Your Spirit to show us the way, that everything may lead to the good and to Your honor. Father, through Your Spirit unite us in the unshakable hope that Your will shall at last be done on earth as in heaven. Grant that we may rejoice in the certainty that whatever happens, our paths are made level and firm by Your love and Your faithfulness. Amen.