The gathering got together today as we started to unpack the first of our four aspirations which we came up with on our day at West Malling before the summer.
The aspiration we were looking at today was ‘creating a space and a sanctuary to engage with others and ourselves’. The group that planned the afternoon took us on a journey through questions:
What makes a space a sanctuary?
How can we find rest and peace?
Why are we wanting to connect with others?
What are we building upon?
Great questions, and questions that got lots of us talking and thinking. The second question came after some of us (mainly adults) chose to do a Lectio Divina reading of Matthew 11:28-30 while the rest of us (mainly children) chose to do a meditation. (Yep – you heard that bit right … our children chose to meditate!)
We were struck this afternoon by Matthew’s words: Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I’m not entirely sure I have grasped a good meaning of that phrase yet … but I’m mulling it over and glad that I am on retreat the next few days and hope that maybe I will have space to dwell on that more.
Some one else in the group used a term that I loved as son as I heard it: ‘matching or tuning in to the heartbeat of God’. Again it’s a deep statement, but words that I wonder whether they describe what it is that we are about. I wonder whether our whole rhythm of life is something that helps us to match or echo the heartbeat of God in our everyday normal hum drum lives.
The gathering today was exciting. As I looked around the 21 people who had gathered I realised 11 (52%) were children. 11 children that were actively involved in the discussion, in the contemplation, and in the sharing of their experiences. One child shared how they heard the voice of God when they were scared one night. Hearing God speak through our children today was an incredibly amazing privilege. Hearing from everyone today was a privilege.
As far as our ROL goes our next step with this aspiration is to attempt to write a paragraph in 2 weeks time that will help us live our lives. The task is a big one and the journey is long … but we are slowly moving forward in quite an amazing way.
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