Spirit of the Living God

I went to a workshop at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church today, led by Mark Yaconelli. He did a workshop here a couple of years ago and was such a hit we had him come back. His title was Living Without Anxiety in an Anxious World.

First we started out with learning about, and practicing Centering Prayer. He said there was really no way to “do it wrong,” just to let ourselves be open to God’s working in the silence. I learned about Centering Prayer a couple of years ago at a conference on Spiritual Practices, and have kind of adapted it to myself. I usually say the Holy Spirit takes a shower with me in the mornings. As I stand under the running water, I just let my mind go. Often during that time God speaks to me and gives me encouragement and often gives me tasks to do – later when I get out of the shower. After I get out, I usually just wrap up in a towel and sit on the edge of the bed looking out the window into our little patio. We have a wren who has been very busy building a nest and now feeding babies in our garage, so I get to watch her flitting back and forth with the choice bugs for her nestlings. I often take fifteen or twenty minutes just sitting there appreciating God.

After a break, Mark had us each get some Play-Doh, and just play with it, while asking our souls what they needed. I discovered my soul was a terrible punster, because it insisted I realize I needed to be needed while I kneaded the Play-Doh. After I squelched that giggling voice, I found myself shaping a cup and the song Spirit of the Living God began playing in my head. You remember that song, it goes,

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me,

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Then we split up into groups of three or four and talked about what we were feeling while we were playing with the clay, and I told my little group that I kept singing that song over and over to myself while I made my little soul-cup. We talked a little in the big group about what we were feeling, and then Mark had us bring our little soul sculptures and place them around the base of the cross.

Finally, we all joined hands in a circle around the cross and our sculptures, and Mark said, “To close, let’s sing Spirit of the Living God. Can someone start it for us?” Of course, I began singing right away, because after all, the Holy Spirit had been singing it in my ear for the past hour.

I just wish She would give me some warning when She’s going to show up like that. She makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up when She does it!

What If the Resurrection Were a Lie?

The prompt for the Synchroblog this month is “What if the resurrection were a lie?” Cynic that I am, I am forced to look around and say “What if the world – we Christians – REALLY believed the resurrection were the truth?”

It seems to me, if we really believed it, we would be less concerned with money and more concerned with people.

We would realize that we are all broken and in need of love, instead of pretending that WE are perfect, but everybody else needs to have rules and regulations to keep them in line.

We would be more concerned with the state of this wonderful planet, instead of first focusing on the cost to clean it up or keep it clean.

We would drive more “friendly”.

We would happily pay taxes because we would insure the government was run by folks who were more concerned with other people than their own pockets.

We would stop trying to be “one up” on our neighbors.

We would stop needing to prove our worth by showing how much better we were than the next guy.

We would stop being “in control”, and would let God be in control.

We would look at the gay man, the crippled child, the homeless woman and see the Risen Christ.

And when we saw Christ in their faces and in their eyes we would do everything in our power to care for them – wash their feet, invite them to dinner, house them, care for them – LOVE them, without thinking of the cost to ourselves.

But never mind.

The cost is too high.

We might have to leave our comfort zone and then who knows who might take care of us.

But here’s the thing – the world is not a Zero-Sum place. There’s enough love, and food, and air, and water for everyone, as long as no one grabs more than their share.

There’s enough LOVE, because Christ is risen, Christ is risen indeed.

Here’s the list of other Syncrobloggers for this month.