WS Update: Reading and Resting

October 23, 2023

Horace, the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus, wrote a letter counseling a friend in search of answers to the timeless questions as Horace understood them:

What is the way to become a friend to yourself? 
What brings tranquility? 
What makes you care less?

His answer was to “interrogate the writings of the wise.” Alan Jacobs, whose writing shaped this reflection, wrote that Horace’s insight is relevant to our modern situation because it underscores the fact that you “need not obey the impulses of this moment—which, it is fair to say, never tend to produce a tranquil mind.”

I bring this up because two weeks ago I was hustling to a morning meeting in Hudson Yards along with hundreds of fellow New Yorkers who were briskly walking to their own destinations, heads down peering into their phones, when suddenly I looked up and saw the picture below and Jesus’ invitation to tranquility. The contrast between humans scurrying and Jesus’ invitation was stark, and a reminder of our ongoing need to slow down and interrogate the words of Jesus.

To that end, there is a new reading group that is doing just that by reflecting on Jesus’ invitation through the book Gentle and Lowly, the two words that Jesus uses to describe his own heart. As our church community continues to explore what it means to follow Jesus this year, I would encourage you to consider joining this group, as well as finding time to slow down enough to respond to Jesus’ invitation.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
– Matthew 11:28-30

Prayer: Putting It Into Practice

Experience and be transformed by God through prayer.

Throughout this class we will explore questions such as:
What is prayer?
What are the obstacles to prayer?
How might our temperaments impact our prayer life?
Who is the Holy Spirit?
And so much more.

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