by Christine Sine
Welcome to August and what promises to be a very busy month. Today in many northern cultures is Harvest Festival, called Lughnasadh in Celtic tradition or Lammas from Anglo-Saxon tradition. This is regarded as the start of the harvest season. It certainly is in our garden. Last week we picked almost 30 pounds of peaches from our tree. I love Fiona Koefoed-Jespersen’s suggestion that we celebrate this week is by baking a loaf of bread and then contemplating Jesus’s parable of the kingdom of God being “God’s kingdom is like yeast that a woman works into the dough for dozens of loaves of barley bread—and waits while the dough rises.” (Matthew 13:33 The Message) What is that yeast of divinity in your life? And how might you work it through every part of your life? How might it nourish your community? Thank you.
Fiona also made me aware of a celebration on August 22nd that I have not heard of before – the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. We have all, knowingly or unknowingly collaborated in the violence done to people who hold different religious beliefs than ours so this is well worth thinking about.
My own thoughts this week, in Meditation Monday: The Spiritual Practice of Walking revolved around my increasing focus on the importance of walking as a spiritual practice. It can bring inspiration, healing, and wonder or be used as protest or exploration. It is based on my reading of Mark Buchanan’s book God Walk: Moving at the Speed of Your Soul, and then diverges to my own learning during my daily walks as well as inspiration from a series of articles recently in the New York Times. I love Mark’s suggestion that we should view God as a three-mile-an-hour God, a God who loves to move slowly, is never in a hurry and enjoys the journey as much as the destination. It is revelatory.
I love that we have poets all over the world who regularly contribute to Godspace light. Jenneth Grazer, writing from South Africa, in Like a Tree Planted reflects on Psalm 1:3 “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” one of my own favourite scripture verses to reflect on.
I was also inspired by Lilly Lewin’s Freerange Friday: Discovering Holy Moments, Rituals for Families in which she helps us think of new ways to connect to the holiness of all things. She always has wonderful practical ideas to share with us. In her post Tell of the Kindness Jenny Gehman encourages us not just to be kind but to share the stories of kindness which often inspire others to be kind too. It is a wonderful post. Last but not least, in Seasonal Spirituality, Diane Woodrow writes from England suggesting that we take time to contemplate the seasons we are in. Her post is full of beautiful stories and suggestions that are good for all of us to take notice of.
As I mentioned last week, I am preparing for three virtual retreats in the coming season so make sure you have these on your calendars. September 2nd – Rhythms and Seasons, October 14th – Living in Gratitude, and December 9th – Advent Quiet Day Retreat. Next week you will be able to sign up and register, and if you sign up for all three there is a very special discount price!!! I hope you can join me for this series. Each will be a stand alone retreat but the series together, I think will enrich our lives, nourish us through the rest of the year and prepare us for a busy new year coming.
Once again I want to mention my need for help organizing and launching my podcast The Liturgical Rebel. I need technical and graphic design help to set it up. If you would like to help me launch this exciting new venture, or if you know someone who might like to help please let me know. I am really excited about this new direction and hope that you will help me make it happen.
And to end, the poem that was inspired by my reflections on walking this week
Now I walk
Through the wonder of God’s world.
Perhaps a forest,
perhaps a beach,
or through an urban street.
Now I walk,
with my three-mile-an-hour God,
Creator of the universe,
who loves to move slow,
never in too much of a hurry
to enjoy the unfolding journey.
Now I walk,
paying attention, noticing, awed,
through familiar landscapes,
that deepen my appreciation,
Yet always revealing something new.
Whether you are praying the stations of the day, in need of resources for rest, hoping to spark joy and find wonder, or simply want to enjoy beautiful prayers, poetry, and art – our digital downloads section has many options! Christine Sine’s book Rest in the Moment is designed to help you find those pauses throughout the day. Praying through the hours or watches, you may find inspiration in our prayer cards set Prayers for the Day or Pause for the Day. You may find your curiosity piqued in the free poetry and art download Haiku Book of Hours. All this and more can be found in our shop!