Easter Prayer

Grunewald

Easter   II
Adam Bittleston

By His strong thought forgetfulness of God,
By His strong love the hatred of good,
By His pure life the bitterness of death,
Are overcome in depths of earth.
Time is no longer empty, through His deed;
In our heart’s beat His living grace awakes;
Into our house the Easter air is breathed
With joy that heals our blood.
Thou makest new our being that from God
Has made the long descent into the dark;
And as immortal brother Thou hast joined
The sojourners of earth.

Adam Bittleston’s Meditative Prayers for Today is available at Steinerbooks.org
http://shop.steinerbooks.org/Title/9781782504672

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News from the Seminary Directors

Dear Friends,
We have some exciting news to announce from our Seminary Directors, Jonah and Patrick! Given the extraordinary situation our congregations are experiencing world-wide, Patrick and Jonah are offering a daily podcast called ‘The Road to Emmaus’ during this Eastertide season. For the next 40 days (with the exception of Saturdays), they will be posting a new audio recording on the platform Patreon under the creator name ‘The Light in Every Thing.’

Patreon is an international platform created in 2013 specifically to connect artists/creators with those individuals who find value in their work and are willing to provide an income stream so they can continue creating. There are currently over 100,000 creators receiving financial support from over 3 million patrons each month. Our Seminary monthly subscription ranges from $3 to $40.

The Road to Emmaus – Episode 1 is open to the general public and available now by clicking this link. Going forward, future podcasts will be available to patrons who are willing to make a minimum monthly contribution of $3. The first podcast will remain unlocked, so feel free to share it with others who you think may be interested.

Easter Homily

Ninetta Sombart

 

Easter Sunday

Mark 16: 1-18 (adapted from Madsen)

 

And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint Him. And very early on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb just as the sun was rising. And they said to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?”

 

And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back—and it was very large. And they went into the tomb. There they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clad in a white robe, and they were beside themselves with amazement. And he said to them, “Do not be startled; you seek Jesus of Nazareth the Crucified One. He is risen; He is not here; see, there is the place where they laid Him [his body]. But go and say to his disciples and Peter, “He will lead you to Galilee. There you will see Him as He promised you.”

And they went out and fled from the tomb in great haste, for trembling and astonishment had come upon them, and being awestruck, they were unable to say anything to anyone about what they had experienced.

 

When He had risen early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene from whom He had driven out seven demons. And she went and told those who had walked with Him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, their hearts could not grasp it.

 

After this, He appeared in another form to two of them on the way as they were walking over the fields. And they went back and told the rest, but they could not open their hearts to their words either.

Afterward, He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were celebrating the meal. He reproached them for their lack of openness and their hardness of heart because they had not wanted to believe those who had seen Him, the Risen One.

 

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the new message from the realm of the angels to the whole of creation. Whoever unites his heart with it [believes] and is immersed in me [baptized] will attain salvation. But whoever closes himself against it [does not let the power of selflessness into his heart, or, does not let the power of My Self into his heart] will meet his downfall. And spiritual powers [these signs] will stand by those who [believe] unite themselves with it and will attend their path: Through the power of my being [in my name] they will drive out demons; they will speak a new language; serpents they will make upright, and poisons they are given to drink will not harm them. They will lay their hands on the sick and give healing forces to them.

 

Easter Sunday

April 12, 2020

Mark 16: 1-18

 

In the week before His death, Christ Jesus said “unless a kernel of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24

 

At His crucifixion, the living power of Christ’s blood entered the earth to keep it alive. And His body was placed into a cave in the earth, the earth’s communion. He, the great Light-Seed, died into the earth.

 

On Holy Saturday, like a seed, he rooted himself firmly into the earth, descending to the dead.

 

On Easter morning, the first new shoots of His new Life broke forth from underground. New Life, capable of reproducing itself infinitely, began to grow.

 

This happens again every year.

 

At Ascension, He will open himself wide to the cosmos, while still remaining connected to the earth. And so this new Life will blossom again into the whole world. At Pentecost, His manifold light-seeds will fall into the hearts of those who love him.

 

And now, today, we rejoice because new Life is flashing forth from death. It is emerging from its apparent demise; it flares up from the ground of our hearts. The Light-Seed is quickening in the earth, in us. For today, as the poet says,

 

Every man, plant and creature in Existence,

Every woman, child, vein and note

Is a servant of our Beloved –

 

A harbinger of joy,

The harbinger of

Light.*

 

*Hafiz, “Guardians of His Beauty”, in The Subject Tonight is Love — versions by Daniel Ladinsky

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Easter

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Saturday

Fra Angelico

Saturday:

            0 you fire, O you light,

            Help me, that in the dark house

            The light of Your light shine,

            lightening all darkness;

            Your warmth glow through it,

            O you fire, O you light!

                             -Sophie Michaelis

Saturday

-Adam Bittleston

O Christ, I remember with love and thankfulness

Those I have known

Who have passed through the gate of death.

I know that some of these have looked on my soul

From the realm in which their souls dwell.

I thank Thee for all I have received from them;

For Thou hast brought our lives to meet.

May my thoughts and feelings reach unto them through Thee;

May they add warmth and purpose

To my earthly life.

And may my meeting again with them

Be blessed by Thee.

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Friday

Collot d’Herbois

Friday:

You live in secret

and fill all your creatures

you work and reign

everything upon everything

and reveal yourself

In tenderness and beauty.

–Sophie Michaelis

Friday

–Adam Bittleston

Let me remember the servants of Christ

Who kept in their hearts

His will for the world.

Beneath the Cross, the beloved disciple

Winning from pain eternal patience,

Beholding in darkness the new beginning.

Paul, who endured all persecution,

Rejoicing in the freedom of the Christian soul.

Columba, through the dark and the cold

Journeying to build a faithful brotherhood.

Francis, overcoming the fear of leprosy,

And raising our vision to the beauty of earth.

Elizabeth, bringing red roses

Into the depths of need.

The work of the servants of Christ

Holds in it sure promise

For the future of earth.

May we protect

What they have planted.

Their power live

In words and deeds of ours.

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Washing His Disciples Feet – Leszek Forczek

 

Thursday:

You who open your clouds

and let your raindrops fall,

Work within us

the miracle of change,

that your earth

receive the waters of life

and its form be renewed.

–Sophie Michaelis

 

Thursday

–Adam Bittleston

O Christ, Thou readest

The living book of  human destiny.

In all who come to Thee

Thou knowest the inmost soul,

The body’s need, the spirit’s seeking.

In my thought of human beings

May I receive Thy light.

In my experience of human deeds

May I feel Thy will.

May we all, as Thy Community,

Find the right ways

For human souls

Who will to serve Thy Spirit.

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Wednesdays

     Wednesday:

        Lord, You pass over us,

        before we even realize it.

        You are transforming Yourself,

        before we notice it.

     — from the Book of Job


Wednesday

–Adam Bittleston

Upon the temple of our body

Worked through the ages

The servants of God

Mighty spiritual creators.

This is now my dwelling;

But it is darkened

By the power of tempters

To whom my soul has listened.

O Christ, against Thee

The voice of temptation

Could achieve nothing.

Thou art the healer

For all our sickness.

Work in this body

That all of its elements,

Its warmth and its breath

Its quickening blood,

The bones which sustain

The form which God gave

Be hallowed by Thee.

 

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Mondays

Monday:

You are the source of life,

and in Your light.

we see the light.

–from Psalm 36

Monday
–Adam Bittleston

When we go out into the world as we have made it
Everywhere there speaks to us forgetfulness of the Spirit.
If human work were to be without love
The earth would become a bleak and barren desert.
Through forgetfulness of the Spirit
Love ebbs away.
Bring to mind in us, O Christ,
Inspirer of true human love,
How we have come to the earth
From fields of light,
From the heights of the Spirit.
May we bring to earth
What we have seen in the Spirit.
May remembrance of God
Grow strong in our souls
Overcoming the mists
Which hide the meaning
In the work of each day.

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At Sea

John 6:16–21

When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off over the sea for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the sea; and they were terrified. But he said to them, “I AM, have no fear” Now when they wanted to take him into the boat, immediately the boat was at the land, at the place where they wanted to go.

 

2nd Passiontide

March 18, 2020

John 6:16–21

Cynthia Hindes

 

This gospel reading has the quality of a dream. It starts as something of a nightmare. It is night; the disciples are in a boat, working hard to make headway in rough seas. Suddenly they see Christ. He appears as if walking, a shining form above the waters. At first, they shrink with fear, but he calms them with the assurance of his very being – it is I. And when they take him in, they are suddenly at their destination.

 

Our lives, too, are sometimes beset with darkness and rough passages. It is just at those times when Christ can make his ever-presence known to us. He assures us that fear can be dispelled because he is the helping Guide on our journey. With his aid, we will reach our goal of firm grounding.

 

Not only is he our guide for the way, but he is also our bread for the way. Just as after a night on the sea of dreams, we come to the daytime shore refreshed, so too does Christ nourish our spirits. He gives our spirits life and strength. He comes to us, we who trust that we will survive with him, even in the darkest hours. Perhaps, like Rilke, we can also learn to love them. He says,

 

I love the dark hours of my being.

My mind deepens into them.

There I can find, as in old letters,

the days of my life, already lived,

and held like a legend, and understood.

 

Then the knowing comes: I can open

to another life that’s wide and timeless.*

 

 

*Ranier Maria Rilke in Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, trans. by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy