Encounter: Meditate on these scriptures that tell us about God as 3 distinct persons though one God. 2 Cor. 13-14, Col. 2:9, Matt. 28:19, John 14:16-17. Underline the words or phrases that speak to you about your life right now.
Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning it now and ever shall be, world without end Amen, Amen.
I reach for the anointing oil, softly making the sign of the cross on their loved one’s forehead. The room is full of remembering, the honoring of life and the sacredness of death as I repeat the words prayed for over two thousand years in baptisms, confirmations and sick rooms, “…in the name of the Father, and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
In sanctuaries around the world each Sunday, the “Gloria Patri” will be sung after the reading of a Psalm or a responsive reading as everyone in the congregation stands to worship this God who they long to know more of. We remember the mystery of the glory of God in an eternal creation we are now a part of.
On Ash Wednesday, my fingers touch the ash placing it on the forehead in the sign of the cross for those wanting to remember, I speak the words, “From dust you came and to dust you will return”, and I add, “…in the name of the Father, and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.
I make the sign of the cross on my body as I pray with the desire to feel and experience the connection between body and spirit and remember who I am as a daughter of the Most High. Through touch, I pray God will express His love through me and affect how I live my life so people will remember there is more to life than this and to look to the Son.
As I sit looking out over the lake this morning meditating on the Scriptures, heavy clouds of mist sweep across the surface of the water and I remember that in the beginning God’s Spirit brought life into being, hovering over the waters, and even now is the Only One who can bring new life where we only see chaos and death.
And then God reminds me…you, my church are now carriers of the wonder of it all.
There is a Divine connection between remembering, prayer and sharing the God life with others so they may have life. God awakens us to our relationship with Him, still so much a mystery and yet willing to reveal more of Himself so our lives reflect what the Apostle Paul declares, It is through him that we live and function and have our identity (Acts 17:28).
This Sunday is Trinity Sunday in the Christian calendar. The presence of God as the Trinity is one of the foundations of Christian theology. It means God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are equally God and also distinctive yet completely unified. Jesus says of himself, “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30 NIV) And Jesus says of the Holy Spirit, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16 NIV). This Trinitarian God always sacrificing, always giving, always faithful as we stumble in the dark.
We also remember on this Memorial Day lives lost in service to our country, in the sacrificing, giving and faithfulness of the men and women who hoped that what they were doing was for the betterment of society. We will not always agree about wars fought and we pray for the day there will be no such thing as a weapon. We remember the weapons of our warfare are no longer earthly. Now we fight for a kingdom that knows no end, reminding us that God is turning hate into love, death into life, graves into gardens, as we turn our worries into prayers.
Remembering with you,
Reflect: Remembering is a good way to begin a time of prayer focusing on what God has done for us recorded in the scriptures or experiences we have had. It helps us to enter with thanksgiving but also with our struggles. As it is reflected in His word, how does each person of the Trinity help you worry about nothing, pray about everything?
Encourage: Find encouragement for your prayer life by trying a new way to remember who you are and who God is by praying the Gloria Patri: Here are some suggestions:
Any prayer that is easily remembered through repetition during church services and reciting traditional prayer can be also used as a personal prayer.
You can use the Glory Be prayer as:
A way to open or end your personal prayer times.
A breath prayer, which is a prayer that can be mentally or physically recited in the time it takes to breathe in and breathe out. Experiment using different phrases of it as a breath prayer.
A song by looking up online the musical tune used in churches.
A way for deeper meditation on the nature of God.
A way to turn your eyes off your troubles and onto the eternal nature of God
A way to praise God while in nature
A way to refocus your mind and bring peace
A way to thank God for his goodness
Gather: Try beginning or ending your small group with singing or praying the "Glory Be" prayer together. Talk about how this made you feel over time.