“Sing and rejoice, you children of the Day and of the Light. For the Lord is at work in this thick night of darkness that may be felt.” So George Fox began a letter of encouragement to Quakers being persecuted for their faith in England in 1663. With all the hatred, violence and fear around and within us, the darkness presses in on us as well; it is so easy to focus on what is scary or hurtful or damaging. These words of Fox always pierce any dark clouds I’m experiencing and bring me great hope and assurance as they focus my attention to that which brings Life.
While it may not be obvious in everything we do, some of us have chosen to be children of the Day and of the Light. Some of us have chosen to throw in our lot with the powers of Love and Life to create and build up and heal. Some of us have chosen to follow Jesus, a much harder challenge than many will admit. However we might express our draw towards or our commitment to Ultimate Goodness, we need one another. We need one another to be clear about what is Truth and what isn’t, to find clarity and stand in the center of the Light. We need one another when hope fades, and we can’t find the Way. We need one another when our fear gets the better of us, and we can’t find Love. We need those who carry our history to remind us what we know. We need trusted companions on the journey who will hold mirrors up to us lovingly.
The “new and improved” Imagining the Word is a place to come together to share our strengths to help one another. It’s a space to share our fears and weakness and struggles. It’s an experiment, an offering, and we won’t do it perfectly by any human measure of perfection. But we move forward trusting God can redeem anything and will transform what we offer in love.
The guided prayer meditations are designed to bring us into God’s presence for God to give what we need on a given day. When we allow contemplative prayer forms to work on us, we often find ourselves lifted out of our separate, small ego selves into the spaciousness of the Infinite. We all need practice making that movement, however. It matters to the world that we learn more and more to live and move in Love, to swim in the River of Life, to surrender our small will to the One who has the best interests of all of us at heart and in mind. We offer here an opportunity to practice.
Evelyn offers our first prayer exercise as a reflection on a quilt square pondering a story of a woman from the Bible. Her reflection gives us background and her understanding of the story, but the art can speak for itself as well. When reflections go with specific prayer exercises, as with this one, both will be posted together in two places. I can’t wait to hear more women’s stories and see this quilt take shape!
I have been fascinated with our individual spiritual gifts for years. These gifts are given to us for the good of the whole community. If we are to understand our own gifts, we have to have some understanding of God’s economy in which they function. When the church married the empire in the third century, it bought into the world’s market economy and merit economy where we are told we have to earn and deserve everything we receive. When we live more and more in God’s economy of gift where we have what we need to be and do what is ours to be and do today, we undercut the economy of empire where there this never enough, and where we compete for crumbs and are rewarded for pursuing “me, my and mine” regardless who gets in the way. This podcast series explores God’s economy of gift and grace and mercy, in which we are all invited to live in abundance.
What a delight to have a space to invite people who have touched our lives in significant ways to share with us here! I’m pleased Jan Wood, director of Good News Associates, accepted the invitation to be our first guest writer. Jan has been a mentor of mine for many years. She is someone through whom Truth speaks to me and sets me on firmer ground. Jan’s teachings undergird my understanding of God’s economy of gift and grace, and I depend heavily on her work for what I will share about spiritual gifts. Thank you, Jan, for inaugurating this guest reflection!
The community space is a big experiment. I’ve heard so many people say something like, “I would never ask/say that in my church!” usually speaking of a very tender God experience. Others say things like, “I never knew other people had experiences like this. I thought I was the only one!” We hope this will be a gathering place for spiritual seekers of all ages, as well as those who have found something Real and want to continue growing into it. We also hope to help connect like-hearted people for face-to-face gatherings as way opens.
Like-hearted people. We don’t really care how you think about God, Jesus, Spirit or whatever words you use to talk about that which brought us into being and sustains our lives. We care if your heart is open to Love and if you are somehow seeking to be Love in the world as you are called and gifted. We hope you will join us for the journey.
Welcome to the “new and improved” Imagining the Word! May we learn to sing and rejoice together as we help one another find and focus on the Light overcoming darkness in our world.