Trinity Sunday. Up early for the 8am service and then staying for the 9am service, I found a great deal of peace. Although somewhat tired now, through the readings and a great sermon I feel that I have a greater understanding of what it means to be a human being in this world. Of who God is. Our collect prayer for the day reminds me of this…
Holy God, faithful and unchanging: enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth, and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love, that we may truly worship you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
God is love. God is mystery. God is life-giving.
It was re-iterated for me this morning that it’s important for me to be me. To help others find out more about themselves, and to allow others to show me more about who I am.
I spoke recently in a post called The Wilderness that I felt the need to find more spaces for stillness in my life. I am thankful for when those moments come, and with my exams over until the next bunch in January, the time I now have means I am freer to spend longer in that stillness, in spaces of calm.
In that I have also been feeling pulled to what in my head I’d been referring to as “elsewhere”. I’ve felt pulled to go somewhere else, almost to just drop everything and walk over the hills, expecting to find some kind of revelation on the other side. I’ve felt a little stuck in understanding where I’m supposed to be at current.
This feeling has had me spending more and more time reflecting, praying, listening for God in everything around me. Waiting for inspiration. Waiting for revelation. Waiting with rather a lot of desperation.
For a while I’ve been walking and praying and waiting. Just trusting that things will come in God’s timing. And they do. Bit by bit I understand more about who I am. Through people, through nature, through books, through music, through God. I come to understand more about my vocation. About who I am. Because I come to be still.
Oh stillness has taught me so much. Teaches me so much. I can no longer imagine living a life with no space for that.
I feel now that I need to move around. Not dramatically… but rather to spend more time in places besides my Home Church. I’ve usually been attending two services in my Home Parish each Sunday, after which I spend an afternoon writing, reading and praying further on this and that. But I understand now that I need to return to something I started a while ago.
I started “Discovering the Different Isms & Schisms“, the way in which we are different, but most importantly the ways in which we are united as a people. As community. As humanity. Those days taught me a lot. I went down to the Methodist Church; I went to a Christian gig; I met with a United Reformed Reverend; I made friends with a Mormon; I agreed to speak in Chelwood Baptist Church and then had the pleasure of listening and communicating with other Baptists and Anglicans there; and I went over to the nearest Buddhist Centre to meet with Phra Nicholas.
I wrote an essay at the end of those trips to write about how different isms and schisms can come together. All in all it was a wonderful experience. And one I had sadly put to a corner of my mind. I’ve been spending more and more time becoming a dedicated Anglican. And that’s great seeing as I’m planning on being an Anglican priest(!), but I should have been spending more time becoming a dedicated member of the wider Body of Christ. And I don’t mean therefore to interact solely with other Christians. I mean interacting with all members of the Body of Christ, all those who Jesus died for, all those who God breathed Ruach, breath, into. All of humanity.
It’s time I got back to embracing all people as brothers and sisters. As family. As community. And so whilst remaning in my Home Church which is incredibly important to me, I plan on making more trips now to other places, to other demoninations and other religions. The Latin religio means to bind. Perhaps I will find more examples of the ways in which it can. And when I find more examples of the ways in which it doesn’t, I will pray that one day things will change. We are bonded as humans. As children of the same God, whatever name we have for that ‘higher being’. We may have our differences. But they make things interesting! Whatever our differences, we must bring peace. We must accept one another. We must love one another.
1 Corinthians 13:11 NRSV: …Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.