Reflections on a changing season

Sarah H led us this Sunday, challenging us to take a spiritual health audit. Below are some notes from our time together:

As we enter ‘Sweater-weather’ do last year’s clothes still fit? Suit us? What is the state of our wardrobe? Do we always wear the same outfit, or do we like to mix it up? As life seasons change do our spiritual practices or disciplines suit the season we are in? Some practices are comfortable, yet others can feel awkward and just not our style. This season we are encouraging each other to slip on something new, to allow these ways to transform who we are and how God’s image in us is seen by our families and communities. 

Christian Spiritual Practices change us from the inside out. Like a good buffet, tuck in and try a little of something – Taste and See that the Lord is Good. We pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you to pick a practice or two for this season of your life.

Bible Study 

Lectio 365, Read through the Bible in a year, study themes, characters, a book or words using a plan from, or Bible Hub. Read a different translation. Study a book using a commentary from a different church tradition.  Watch videos from listen to a podcast. Dig deeper by learning Learn Biblical Greek | Daily Dose of Greek or Daily Dose of Hebrew – Free Hebrew Video Lessons  

Bible Meditation 
Chew over a text, memorise it, rewrite it. Ignatian spiritual exercises, Examen.  Lectio 365 – 24-7 Prayer International, devotional readings. 

Silent, Breath prayers, intercession (praying for others), visit a prayer room, attend an online prayer meeting, liturgical prayer (Northumbria community, Anglican, Ionian Franciscan, Orthodox) the Lord’s prayer.  

Stand, sit, kneel, dance, raise your hands, open your hands, lie face down.  

Music and the Arts 

Sung or danced liturgy, songwriting, prophetic painting, spontaneous song singing, storytelling, story writing, journalling, film making, meditation on nature, images, films. 

Pilgrimage & Retreat 

Walking to a Church or Sacred site. Stay in a monastery, nunnery, or retreat centre such as Waverley Abbey. Attend a large festival gathering. (Greenbelt) or Scargill Movement.  

Liturgical Year – Decoration of the home for Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time. Celebrating Saints Days, Solstices, Equinox and Biblical Jewish festivals  
Passover, Feast Unleavened Bread: April 23-29, 2024 Pentecost: June 16, 2024 Feast of Trumpets: October 3, 2024 Day of Atonement: October 12, 2024 Feast of Tabernacles: October 17-23, 2024 
The Eighth Day: October 24, 2024 

I have to say that not only was it good to be challenged to get out of our inevitable ruts but I particularly oved the reading Sarah shared from the Book of Wisdom Chapter 7:

15May God grant me to speak with judgement,

and to have thoughts worthy of what I have received;

for he is the guide even of wisdom

and the corrector of the wise.

16For both we and our words are in his hand,

as are all understanding and skill in crafts.

17For it is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists,

to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements;

18the beginning and end and middle of times,

the alternations of the solstices and the changes of the seasons,

19the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars,

20the natures of animals and the tempers of wild animals,

the powers of spirits and the thoughts of human beings,

the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots;

21I learned both what is secret and what is manifest,

22for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me.

There is in her a spirit that is intelligent, holy,

unique, manifold, subtle,

mobile, clear, unpolluted,

distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen,

irresistible, 23beneficent, humane,

steadfast, sure, free from anxiety,

all-powerful, overseeing all,

and penetrating through all spirits

that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.

24For wisdom is more mobile than any motion;

because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.

25For she is a breath of the power of God,

and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;

therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.

26For she is a reflection of eternal light,

a spotless mirror of the working of God,

and an image of his goodness.

27Although she is but one, she can do all things,

and while remaining in herself, she renews all things;

in every generation she passes into holy souls

and makes them friends of God, and prophets;

28for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.

When I think about the theological links between Wisdom and the pre-existenet Word of God – Christ – this reading is all the more wonderful! Thanks Sarah – lots to think about!