Dear Uniting Church Friends,
Welcome to this week’s Prayerful and Pastoral Reflections.
Are you waiting to see what the year reveals to you? For many of us we are tip-toeing into the new year with a sense of waiting- waiting on the numbers, waiting on the vaccine, waiting on the outcomes of various health decisions by the authorities.
Seeing into the future has always been problematic. Mindfulness and contemplation (also known as prayer) teach us to focus on the present time, for that is where reality is. The future is not real, the past already gone.
During the season of epiphany, we hear a series of stories about “unveilings” of who Christ is. The Wise Men is the first, on the day of epiphany, followed by the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. The readings for this Sunday remind us that creativity is accompanied by both order and chaos, and that revelation may come to us in moments of great turbulence, as the true nature of things are revealed.
Contemplation is a way of being open to the unveiling of God in the present moment. Richard Rohr says…
Contemplative prayer is a form of unveiling, because it reveals what is going on beneath the polished and busy surfaces of our minds, our hearts, and our bodies. When we finally get still enough, contemplation can live within us in pure, open moments of right here, right now. This is enough, this is fullness. If it is not right here, right now, it doesn’t exist. If we don’t know God now, how would we know God later?
The quote from Bruno Barnhart encourages us to “experience the liberating power of this awakening” as we read and reflect on the stories of the gospels. I hope that by taking time to do this you will experience an unveiling of your true self that will enable you to face the coming year with renewed hope and greater confidence- confidence in the presence of God that penetrates and enlivens all things.
You may like to especially focus on the water, the deep, and the light in the stories and the water and light that enfolds us in this beautiful place. What is being revealed to you in the story and in your surrounds about the true nature of things?
We are a prayerful community,
and we invite you to find
a quiet moment to meditate
with these reflections.
Love and Blessings to you all.
Charles and Kerrie.