Deacon’s Message (January 2018)
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Grace and peace to you in this New Year!
I practice yoga several times a week at a local yoga studio. One teacher begins each class by asking us to set an intention for the practice. She defines an intention as a positive present-tense statement that helps to focus our attention and keeps us connected to the physical practice. Examples of an intention to begin a yoga practice could be “I am strong” or “I am present on my mat.” I usually use some variation of “I am practicing with care.” Once set, this intention provides an anchor for my thoughts during the practice, bringing my mind back to the intention whenever it wanders from the pose I’m trying to hold.
Intentions are different from the New Year’s resolutions that some of us make every year. Intentions direct our attention to the present moment in which we find ourselves without worrying about the final outcome of what we are doing. Resolutions, on the other hand, remind us of something about our current life that we don’t like and would like to change in the days ahead. Achieving the end result (which many of us never do!) is what’s important.
The idea of setting an intention can be helpful as we contemplate our own sense of Christian discipleship – the practice of following Christ in our daily lives – in this new year. An intention can help us focus on God’s presence in our lives at this moment. An example of such an intention might be, “I give thanks for this moment,” or “I share God’s love with the people around me,” or “I see God at work in the world.”
Staying focused on God’s presence in our daily lives takes practice. To encourage the practice, the Lutheran Church of Framingham will offer something new in 2018 – “Wednesday Gathering “ – a weekly opportunity to come together for conversation, prayer, Bible study, and/or whatever else helps us focus our attention and gives us courage to live as people growing in faith.
“Wednesday Gathering” will start on January 3, at 7:00 p.m., in the Library, at St. Andrew’s. We welcome everyone to join us whenever you can.
to God be the glory!