Don Wiley of Murrieta, CA, USA
Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such a woman. Now what do you say?”…He straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”…Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” -John 8:2-11
In the early days of the Park Church, it was common to have animals in the church, companions of the homeless and occasional visitors walking their dogs in the park. It was a rented historic building, one of the first churches in the community that had been moved to Magee Park in Carlsbad. We had refreshments before the service, and a couple of dogs and a macaw bird were guests that day. Stackable chairs were arranged in rows facing the portable podium, and I sat in the front row getting ready to speak.
Just before I was to stand and share, Sheila, a beautiful golden retriever sitting on the floor in the row behind me, walked up to me, put her paws on my knees, and licked my cheek (gave me a kiss) before returning to her spot next to her owner. This surprised everyone because she had never done anything like this before, and I had not been friendly with her before.
Sheila knew something and gave expression as only she could do. God shares with us in so many unexpected ways. How is God speaking to you?
“Your mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23, adapted).
Ordinary Time is a season for noticing the details of life that make up its substance. This month, we invite you to pay attention with each fresh morning to the gift of being alive. Before getting out of bed, take a few deep breaths and notice what it feels like to wake up in your own body. Engage the tasks of your unfolding day with reverence-brushing your teeth, making the bed, pouring the coffee, tending the kids, feeding the animals, making breakfast, etc. Notice the presence of the Holy in every ordinary thing. Embrace your daily routines with sacramental significance. Notice how long you can do this before your attention is taken away, and commit to returning to this simple awareness as gently and often as you can.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.