Monday Meditation—First Week of Lent

  • Posted on Mar 2, 2020

Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.   John 14:1-3


In our Week One meditation in Lent-in-a-Bag this week, there was a picture of a little shop.  Ignatian spiritual writer Margaret Silf suggests that the way to think about our lives is to imagine a house—and particularly an old corner store.  Cumberland has a number of these old corner stores.

In an old corner store, there are generally three floors. On the first floor, there is the shop portion of the house with a big display window showing the goods for sale and stating the shop hours.  The name above the shop tells you what the shop is there for.  It doesn’t tell you anything about the shopkeeper.

On the second floor, this is your living quarters—where the family lives.  Its windows are smaller and overheard with lace curtains.  This is a private place for the family, still open to the world outside, but much more shielded, and certainly not “open all hours.” 

Then, right at the top of the house, is the attic.  Perhaps it is a small bedroom, or a study, or a child’s playroom.  It may be an attic storage space.  The person in the room can look out of it, but no one can look back in.  This is your very private space with God.


Here are some questions to ponder about this special room-even though it is small, it can be a mansion in God:


The Shop Floor—your public space—Is it only open as long as it needs to be to keep bread on the table and for you to remain a social individual?   How are your opening hours?  What is your public self about?  Are you on demand to your public too much or too little?  Do you ever wish your shop was in a different trade? 


The Second Floor—How are your living quarters?  How is your family?  Is the room lonely, or packed with friends?  What do you find there about yourself and your preferences and interests?  How easy is it to share this part of your house?  Is there anyone that you long to invite in but feel you can’t?


The Top Floor—Your Place with God.  How does this room look or feel?  What does it contain?  Would you feel easy about inviting a close friend into this room or not?  Is there anything you would want to put away first?  Is the atmosphere in this room warm and accepting or frightening or imprisoning?  Is it filled with cobwebs and dust or is it full of light and space?


Imagine touring God through your home beginning at the ground floor and then imagine God touring you through your home—a home that God has prepared for you—from the attic down.


God hasn’t just prepared a place for us after we die, but prepares a loving home for us NOW.  What pieces of your life do you feel God has blessed you with?  Give thanks for those gifts.  What pieces of your life do you need God to help you change or re-arrange?  Can you begin your days in your room with God and take all that light and love to the other rooms below?


Let us pray:  O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us.  May all we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings.  Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory.  Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world………..and for our relationship with you.  May we bring the love you give us to our family and to the world each and every day.  In Christ’s name we pray.  AMEN.

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