The Jesus Way Conference – part 2
Recovering the lost content of discipleship… (Midday report)
This morning started with worship in prayer -morning prayers.
Focus: “Worship in the biblical sources and in liturgical history is not something a person experiences, it is something we do, regardless of how we feel about it, or whether we feel anything about it at all. The experience develops out of the worship, not the other way around. Authentic worship means being present to the living God who penetrates the whole of human life” Eugene Peterson -The Jesus Way
“My life is listening, God’s is a speaking.” Thomas Merton -Thoughts in Solitude
We began our worship with breath prayer from Psalm 36:8 and then continued with a responsive prayer and singing of Psalm 95 along with “Come, Worship the Lord.”
This was the first time that I experienced the collective praying of the morning office with 2500 plus people. I have to say it was very powerful and moving. I have been using the Daily Office and the Book of Common Prayer as part of my individual-personal disciplines for a couple years now, but praying together like I participated in this morning with the larger community was really great. There is something supernaturally connecting with the body of Christ when we come together unified in our worship of God.
Take, O take me as I am;
Summon out what I shall be;
Set your seal upon my heart,
And live in me. [Amen]
The first general session and message today was, “Worship: Elijah and The Jesus Way.” Our speaker was Emilie Griffin. One word; “Wow.” No, make that two words; “Simply Awesome.” What an incredible privilege to hear this woman speak. Here are some of the shared thoughts on worship from Emilie Griffin:
Quoting Jesus, she shares; “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). Great place to start when considering worship…don’t you think? She went on to quote Eugene Peterson from The Jesus Way; “Authentic worship means being present to the living God who penetrates the whole of human life.” Then she unleashed this barrage which is still rocking my heart…
- We should travel the path of Elijah with singleness of focus; embracing what God has given us.
- The hallmark trait of Elijah was his undivided heart; this is a heart of worship…undivided.
- We should be completely surrendered to HIM (Jesus-God).
- We cannot control the experience of God. We should not cling to the experience of God , but we should cling to God Himself. (She brought to our memory the Transfiguration and the disciples’ desire to build shelters to mark the experience. She also highlighted remembrance and reclaiming are very different in their definition)
- We cannot package God, but we can depend on Him for everything.
- Elijah constantly accepted what was given him by God…(solitude, silence, submission, surrender, guidance, and transforming grace)
- If we do not have desert spaces in our lives, we would do good to make desert spaces for ourselves. We need the desolate spaces of solitude to hear the still, small voice.
- We should be able to embrace the hardships that come to us…as God gives them to us or allows them to come to us. Deliverance is always imminent.
This is just a thumbnail of what was our morning. Wow! Thank you Lord for inviting me here.
I am just returning from my first individual workshop of the day (my second will be in about a half hour from now. I don’t have a lot of time to share about this, but it was “Creating a Personal Rule of Life: Lessons from St. Benedict.” I am VERY glad I chose this session and attended it. I will be spending much time with my notes, following up with the presenter (Stephen Macchia), and working to craft a personal Rule of Life for myself as well as the community that I serve.
I will share more this evening…until then, LIVE THE KINGDOM!