For most of us the holidays are now over and we are zooming into 2008 hopefully feeling refreshed and renewed. I certainly am. As you may have noticed I took a break from blogging over the Christmas season so that I could fully enter into this wonderful time of celebration and refreshment. Advent and Christmas (which does not official end until January 5th and the Eve of Epiphany) is my favourite time of the year. We had a wonderful Advent celebration, a great community Christmas day and then Tom & I were able to get away for retreat for a couple of days with our dog Bonnie of course. I have returned with renewed sense of God’s call “to be a voice for the voiceless and to bring glimpses of God’s shalom kingdom into peoples’ lives.”
During our retreat time I read Water from a Deep Well by Gerald Sittser. It is the best book I have read all year and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who is wanting a deep spiritual walk. It is indeed a compelling history of spirituality in which Gerry explores how faith has been practiced over the last 2000 years and what we can learn from those who have gone before us.
Two aspects that really spoke to me
- The centrality of community. Early Christians believed that because God is love and love cannot be expressed by isolated individuals God represents a prefect unified community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To become a disciple is to be drawn into this community not just with God but with God’s people around the world. The people of God are privileged to belong to this community through the redemptive work of Christ and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
- The importance of having a rhythm for our lives that intertwines faith through the fabric of life and draws us towards God’s goal of restoring his image in all of us. “Monasteries sanctified time as if to show that all time belongs to God and our use of time finds meaning only if we do our tasks both religious and secular to honour God.” (p97) The purpose of the monasteries was not merely to establish a regimen of discipline but to nurture spiritual growth. The example of Christ – his incarnation and sacrificial death, love and service, lowliness and kindness – set a pattern for behaviour.”