Grace and Peace to you.
A bunch of us will be gone this weekend at the church retreat, as Susan MacKenzie leads us to “Pray Always, Pray All Ways.” (In our Sunday worship at St. Matthew’s Joyce Shetter Holt and perhaps one of the sisters will be here from Hagar’s Sisters, sharing about God’s work among victims of domestic violence.)
A rretreat is a time to let go of our busy schedules and be renewed, a time to connect more deeply with each other, a time to deepen our faith. It’s a time set apart to connect with the holy.
How do you experience the Sacred in your life? Where do you touch that glimmering, ineffable Presence that is at the heart of all being? A weekend prayer retreat may not be the way you do it—but how do you connect with the holy?
Prayer is one way we connect with the holy. Prayer isn’t a pile of words; it’s being present to the Presence that is here for us. It’s not just talking; it’s listening. It’s not necessarily thinking; it’s simply being present.
Our worship is a way to connect with the holy. Worship is not to “re-charge our batteries:” it’s not that self-centered. Worship is a time to re-connect with God, to participate in the story of God’s love, to let ourselves be shaped, and re-shaped, by being part of God’s healing of the world.
Reading scripture is a way to connect with the holy. We don’t read it like the paper or a textbook, for information. We read it like a love letter. We allow God to connect with us.
Each of has ways to connect with the holy: to walk in nature, to read poetry, to serve the poor. How do you do it? Are you intentional about it? Do you devote time to connect with the holy, or do you just hope it comes along?
The church is a community that is not random or casual about connecting with the Holy. We are rooted in it, intentional about it, and public with it. Share your experiences of connecting with God: talk with each other. Join one of the Wednesday evening Lenten groups starting in a couple weeks (Lectio Divina, a way of reading scripture as prayer, and Accountable Discipleship, a group supporting each other in spiritual practices.) Watch and listen for the presence of the Holy One in worship. Out of our deep connection with the holy, we will find purpose, direction, strength and joy.