This Tuesday we will be discussing chapter 3 “The Healing Heart” of Dr. Albert S. Rossi’s book Becoming a Healing Presence. Regardless of the religious tradition, the heart is seen as the center of a person’s being and where the person meets the divine. We see this in Protestant Evangelical Revivalism where each participant is told to “Ask Jesus into your heart.” Or in contemplative Eastern Christianity (which is the basis of our readings) which begins with the premise that the “Kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21. John Wesley describes the very moment he knew his salvation was assured, as his “heart being strangely warmed.” This experience at the Moravian Meetinghouse on Aldersgate Street would form the foundation of Wesley’s ministry and the Methodist Movement. Throughout the Scriptures, we see the role the idea of the heart plays in speaking of God. Ezekiel prophesies that in the final restoration, God will remove our hearts of stone and replace them with hearts of flesh so that we may see and follow God. Ezek. 11:19. Paul echoes Ezekiel when he writes that God sends the Spirit of his Son into our hearts allowing us to become the very children of God and so we may cry out “Abba, Father.” Gal. 4:6. It is in her heart that Mary ponders the words of the angels and shepherds at the Nativity. Luke 2:19. And where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matt 6:21. Our heart is seen as that place where God finds us. I have attached a short lecture from Bishop Ware on “Prayer and the Heart” which goes a little deeper into the topic of our chapter this week. If you have time, please read it.
Dinner is at 6. The menu is jambalaya. (If you have a shrimp allergy, please let us know.) Discussion begins about 6:45. Please bring a friend. Hope to see you here.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.Psalm 51:10