Tuesday, April 16, 2013

'...IN STILLNESS AND SILENCE..."

Colin Coward at Changing Attitude:
On the contrary, from my experience, I know that Christian worship is often complacent, reinforcing tradition, focussed on maintenance and survival, bums on pews, money on the plate, rather than the redeeming, liberating power of being born anew in the Holy Spirit into the resurrection energy of Christ. (And a danger here is to think emotionalism equates with this experience – I’m writing about something far deeper and more disturbing)

I don’t think that what I’m trying to describe has been researched. Maybe it’s impossible to research because as I know from experience, it’s hard to talk about and describe to other people, the feelings, ideas, insights, intuitions, that can flow when, in stillness, silence and open-hearted contemplation you open yourself to the infinitely loving presence of the living God. In that space, resistance melts, dogma becomes irrelevant, and deep truth seems to grasp awareness. (My emphasis)
Read Colin's entire post.  It is excellent.  Colin is one of a group of six members of the LGB&T Anglican Coalition who will meet with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby this coming Thursday for a conversation.  Since the discussion is confidential, Colin will not issue a report.  Pray that the conversation will bear good fruit.

I, too, find it difficult to describe the effect of the presence of God in my life, but Colin comes quite close in his words - so close that I felt a frisson.  And it's not that we suddenly become saintly in all we do and say, but the change of heart runs deep and changes how we think and view the world and each other.  For me, the best way I know to move forward in living the Gospel is to keep things simple and be mindful of the Two Great Commandments and the Golden Rule.
He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’
(Matthew 27:32-40)
 
In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
(Matthew 7:12) 

4 comments:

  1. Mimi, I love the words you have put into bold, and I agree with them absolutely.

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    1. Colin's words are indeed beautiful and true.

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  2. Made me think of this piece: In the Silence (by Craig Courtney). In all honesty, I think my (St Michael's Episcopal, Carmichael CA) choir sings it better than these Arkansas Lutherans---we have a flautist for the contrapunto!---but you'll get idea (strangely enough, this was the only version I could find online---YouTube let me down!)

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    1. I'm just now listening, JCF. The piece is lovely.

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