When Seraphim was in India, he took up the concept of the bowl. From that experience he learned:
"Just returned from a long, hot and dusty day on the streets of Old Delhi. Each day I go forth with my prayer rope and a pocket full of rupees for the many beggars with their bowls. As always, I run out of rupees early and I then have to say 'no'. Today something happened, I was drawn into the 'no' of the poor that is their life. But it didn't stop there, that 'no' became mysterious as it became the 'no' of God composed of humankind's refusal to give what He asks. God asks for Himself in us".
- Whatever is placed in the bowl is your nourishment for the day
- Jesus says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35), hence there is a place for the beggar and his bowl. The beggar gives birth to the giver, the bowl is a story about relationships.
- "Ultimately, the bowl teaches us that God is enough. Unfortunately, most of "religion" is the result of not finding God, not finding God to be enough or not wanting God to be enough."
- From "The Thousand Day Nazareth" (The St. Simeon Skete's Rule of Life) the following is to be noted:
The Five Faults of a Bowl: ©1999 NHA
- If we don’t listen to the teaching, we are like an overturned bowl, nothing can enter in (Isa.28:12; Mk 8:18).
- If we don’t put the teachings into practice, we are like a bowl with a hole in it, everything leaks out (James 1:22; 4:17).
- If we are double minded, this is similar to using an unclean bowl, corrupting what it holds (James 1:8, Mt. 23:25).
- If we are full of ourselves, we are like a bowl - "Inn” – where there is no room for Him (Luke 2:7; Rev. 3:20).
- If we are untrusting then what is placed in our bowl will never be enough (Luke 2:25-32; Mt. 6:33).
We go about receiving what is placed in our day (our bowl), good or bad, this then becomes our offering to God and God’s nourishment to us.
Finally, these words from Seraphim:
"The Lamb came forward to take the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne, and when he took it, the four animals prostrated themselves before him and with them the twenty-four elders; each one of them was holding a harp and had a golden bowl full of incense made of the prayers of the saints" (Rev.5:7b -8). "Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. A large quantity of incense was given to him to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that stood in front of the throne; and so from the angel's hand the smoke of the incense went up in the presence of God and with it the prayers of the saints" - (Rev. 8:3,4)
I've often anointed my prayer beads with sweet smelling oil that my prayers might be pleasant smelling to our Lord God. These verses touch the hem of this, especially (5:8). I've kept a begging bowl as a symbol of my life and I can see the bowls that the Elders are holding to be begging bowls, begging for the prayers of the saints and that these prayers are the incense of Heaven. I visualize the angels with these bowls "running" to the edge of Heaven to wait for our prayers to ascend into their bowls as they then hurry to the altar of God in offering and then back again for more ever saying to us "more prayers, more prayers, more prayers!"
From an old journal of Seraphim's, he writes:
|Photo taken by Seraphim on the streets of Delhi.|
One of the most hopeful verses in the Bible: "Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" - Rev. 3:20
One of the saddest verses in the Bible: "He came unto His own, and his own received him not." - Jn. 1:11