Encouragement for the Journey 6 / 6/ 2012

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Encouragement for the Journey 6 / 6/ 2012

Encouragement for the Journey

Greetings Fellow traveller, 

Yes, it is the first Sunday of the month and as is our custom we have Kids N All. For those who were present at last month’s Kids N All, you would have been part of our Webs of Belonging. It was a special time for experiencing our belonging with one another. Today, our theme is the celebration of Pentecost, the giving of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Here at St Aidans we celebrated Pentecost last Sunday, through the medium of hymns, songs, scripture readings, a reflection and Holy Communion. This is one approach to celebrating the presence of the Spirit in our individual and communal lives.

Today, we have a different approach which is more experiential and tactile. One approach is not better than the other, just different. To participate in worship will always include our senses and evoke responses within us.

I recall the words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin a French Jesuit who sums up our humanity well when he said:

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.’

As spiritual beings having a human experience, we have the capacity to fully experience a range of human emotions. The metaphor of the Spirit, which currently appeals to me, is ‘breath.’ This divine breath or Ruach is the feminine life force, which is at the heart of all. Our breath is truly mysterious.

The breath we breathe in enters our lungs and through the various systems of our body, oxygen is received enabling us to live. To breathe is to be alive; it is what sustains our very existence.

There is no part of our human body which does not benefit from the breath we breathe. This is a beautiful way to appreciate that there is no part of our humanity that is not dependent upon the Spirit; it is what sustains the human soul.

When we experience life through our five senses of: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. We do so through the whole of our being. Weaving through our senses is the presence-ness of the One we name Holy Spirit. This is not something separate from us, rather it is what sustains and pervades are very being, it is our spirituality. I leave you with this description of spirituality from Brother David Steindl-Rast:

“Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of our existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being. Someone will say, ‘I come alive when I listen to music,’ or ‘I come to life when I garden,’ or ‘I come alive when I play golf.’ Wherever we come alive, that is the area in which we are spiritual. And then we can say, ‘I know at least how one is spiritual in that area.’ To be vital, awake, aware, in all areas of our lives, is the task that is never accomplished, but it remains the goal.”

May our service today touch your senses and warm your soul

Meanwhile Peace Alf