Memorize & Ponder for Sunday Oct 19, 2014

Maya Angelou’s Prayer Pillow

Colossians 4:2 (NRSV)

“Devote yourselves to prayer,
keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.”

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel
to say your nightly prayer.
And let faith be the bridge you build
to overcome evil and welcome good.
– Maya Angelou, Celebrations

Throughout 2014, the Christian community at Brentwood Presbyterian Church is getting to know Jesus, the Christ, in a refreshing and transformative way.  We invite you to listen for what the Spirit is saying in the text, then question how those insights might change the ways you see things and act in the world.  Share your thoughts during the week on the meaning the Spirit creates for you in this text by posting a comment on our website – www.brentwoodpc.ca.

A Provocative Pondering

Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us provoke one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together … (Hebrews 10:23-25a)

I discovered the quote from Maya Angelou in one of the many tributes to her when she died last May.

As we continue our exploration of the place of gratitude in our relationship with Jesus, the Christ in whom God redeemed the whole of creation, I thought it worth adding the quote to this short text on prayer.  I love the image Angelou uses – gratitude as the pillow for prayer.

Play with that image a few times this week.  As we lay down to rest at the end of the day, taking a few minutes to speak with God, the pillow upon which we rest our head is gratitude.  We approach God thankful for the blessings he has bestowed this day and the blessings he has enable us to be this day.  What a great attitude to take into prayer.

Here’s another way to think about it, one from our Celtic Christian ancestors. They saw the day starting when we go to sleep. The day started with extended rest, when we are particularly open to the workings of the Holy Spirit. So this gratitude that is our pillow as we begin our day sets the tone for God’s work within us as we sleep, a time that we are usually more open to the presence of the Spirit. It’s a time, again to us a Celtic image, when the veil between heaven and earth is thin.

In the end, the writer of Colossians, emphasizes how prayer and thanksgiving are woven together tightly in the devotion that nourishes us to flourish in the grace of Jesus Christ. Rest well this week on the pillow of gratitude.

What does this passage mean for you? Give it some thought this week and remember that you can start a conversation about this question right here in the comments section

Join us in our study groups and worship services to ponder together what the Spirit is teaching us through this text.

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