Those of you who follow our (somewhat) daily meditations may have noticed our monthly themes. A few months ago we decided to assign a theme to each month, using it as a basis for our prayer bead devotions, meditations, newsletter, Facebook Live videos, etc. It worked well enough that we’ve decided to make it official!
January’s theme is Intention. This seemed like a good word for the new year, and connects nicely with our talk about choosing a Star Word for 2017. Your response to my blog post last week has been overwhelming, and it’s been great fun to hear the words you have received to guide you through the year. Keep them coming! We will take everyone who posts their word (either here or on our Facebook page) by January 27th and enter them into a drawing for a free set of prayer beads.
Intention is a great word in general, but I love it particularly as it relates to our spiritual formation. We can start with God and see that God’s act of Creation was intentional. There was nothing haphazard about it; nothing was created without purpose (except maybe cockroaches – I just really don’t see what point they serve; nothing was or is beyond God’s focus and attention. That, of course, includes us. We were and are God’s intentional creation, shaped into being for a specific purpose: to love God, and to glorify God by loving ourselves and others.
What does this mean for our spiritual formation? How can we return this gift of intention to God? We might choose to be intentional about our prayer life, particularly if our prayer practice has been hither and yon up to now. We might be intentional about living into our Star Word, allowing it to shape us each day. We can be intentional about practicing self-love and self-care, especially when that does not come naturally to us. We can be intentional about loving others. Indeed, with things they way they are in our world, this may be the perfect time to practice loving those that seem hard to love.
No matter what, intention will look different for each person. But collectively, we can use our intention to bring about God’s kingdom on earth. And that, I think, was always God’s intent.
Prayer Bead Devotion
Cross: God of Intention,
Invitatory Bead: who sent your son, Jesus Christ,
Resurrection Bead: so that we might know your intent:
First Cruciform Bead: All of Creation was intentional; nothing was accidental. How marvelous are your works!
Week Beads, Set 1: Use each bead to praise God and consider how everything was formed with God’s intent.
Second Cruciform Bead: I confess that I do not always live with intention.
Week Beads, Set 2: Use each bead to consider and confess the ways in which you may not always live with intention (i.e. checking out, going through the motions, not paying attention, shying away from your calling, etc.)
Third Cruciform Bead: You created us in your image so that we might reflect your intent.
Week Beads, Set 3: Use each bead to marvel at the fact that you were created in God’s image, and identify the ways in which you reflect God’s intent.
Fourth Cruciform Bead: Help me to live with intention so that I may bring you glory.
Week Beads, Set 4: Use each bead to consider the ways in which you can begin (or continue) to live with intention.
Resurrection Bead: In the name of your son, Jesus Christ,
Invitatory Bead: who lives and reigns with us.
Meditation: I intend to serve God.