I am traveling this week. I am attending a wedding in Long Beach WA this weekend but my first stop was in Yakima where I attended the Turner Lectures., an interfaith lecture series held every year in the first week of October by the North West Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (NWRCC). The NWRCC invites prominent authors and theologians and hosts for three days of a teaching, discussion, good conversation, and meaningful worship. This year Michael Kinnamon and Carol Howard Merrit are our guest lectures and their talks and discussions of the Past and Future Church: From the Ends of the Earth to Our Doorstep are inspiring. I am part of the team that planned the worship services and one of the elements of our morning worships has been guided meditation on the morning’s scripture. Guided meditation is a wonderful spiritual tool that uses our imagination to enter into story, or scripture, in a very personal way. In our imagination we are feel the warmth of the sun, stirring of the wind, all of the natural elements. We can smell food, or feel the presence of crowds or feel emptiness. Using our imagination we “see” the story from a new perspective, not as a distant reader, but as a participant.
Monday I read Galatians 3:26-29 and led the morning’s guided meditation. I invite you to take a few minutes, get comfortable and listen to the scripture and meditation. The full text of the meditation is below
I invite you to get comfortable, with feet on the floor
Take a deep breath and another one.
You have been walking a long time you are tired and covered in road dust
Ahead of you a small village appears at the edge of lake. You have arrived
You have been searching anticipating the end of your journey and now it is in sight
Villagers wave to you and you wave in return the people walk out to greet you the young and the old, people of every color in the human rainbow, people wearing clothes of every cultures all come out to welcome you In front the growing group, God, waits for you with open arms
Someone relieves you of your back pack as God enfolds you in an embrace a flask of water is pressed into your hand Jesus, offers you a place to rest, breaks bread with you and offers you wine. you didn’t know how hungry you were.
They take you to the lake where you bathe in it’s cool, refreshing waters when you step out of the water new clothes await you, new shoes, soft as down for your tired feet.
The villagers celebrate your coming with a great dinner food from every culture, every ethnic group all created for a joyful feast
God dances with joy
You are home a child of the village
You have new clothes
you have eaten food that has fed you deeper than any food possibly could
the villagers hand you your pack, cleaned and freshly filled
God, Jesus, and the villagers shoulder their own packs
together you walk on
Together you complete the journey
Ruth Jewell, ©October 7, 2014,