Listening for the Grace of the Breath of God

Listening for the Grace of the Breath of God

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The Parish Care team at First Church of Christ in Old Saybrook, Connecticut launched a new program known as 'Wilderness Companions' - a time of spiritual growth and story sharing to encourage reflection, preparation, and connection leading to the celebration of Easter. We know people experienced the wilderness of the pandemic in a variety of ways. Listening to the stories of others, and sharing our story, will build understanding, compassion, and grace.

Congregants and friends were invited to reflect on a new question each week to explore the experience of challenge, resilience, and perseverance during the pandemic time. What helped you get through the pandemic? How has your faith influenced your thoughts during this time? What was the hardest for you? What “normal” thing would you most like to do? The Parish Care team is collecting responses as people are willing to share, in writing and in video, to preserve a collective story for future generations.

As we enter Holy Week, the focus of reflection is, “How have you been an angel/ friend to someone else?” We remember that when we love one another as Jesus loved us, we offer others the love of God, the grace of God. Caroline Myss, New York Times bestselling author, teaches internationally about human consciousness, spiritually and mysticism, health, energy medicine, and advancing the science of medical intuition. Her work frequently includes the concept of grace.

"Grace is the breath of God―an invisible essence beyond intellect that moves swiftly amongst us," teaches Caroline Myss in Channeling Grace: Invoking the Power of the Divine. This is what came to my mind after Pastor Todd Yonkman’s sermon Getting to Grace, and how it is particular to individual circumstances and needs, exemplified in the father’s individualized response in grace for each of his sons when his prodigal son returned. We can be grace filled when we listen and respond to the individual and community needs we encounter in our daily lives. Is this not allowing the “Grace of the breath of God” to flow through us? The grace of the breath of God coming into and through us as angels.

Myss encourages us to think of “Grace as a power that comes in and transforms a moment into something better.” I believe that this is the work of angels, the random acts of kindness, the individual who touches our soul through love and kindness even in the form of a stranger.

Jesus, we know, commands us to “love one another” John 13:34. When we follow this path, there are times when we are an angel of god’s grace and love for another, and there are times when we are the angel that is needed by another. It is this mutual love, kindness and respect that will unify our community and lead to changes in the world.

It is grace that is required as the pandemic lingers, as the future variants create uncertainty, as we work to create order out of the chaos of the world. Remember Grace in discerning safe practices for worship and gathering for your community. Share your love and grace so all the world may see the grace of the breath of God flowing through you!

May you feel the grace and blessing of Jesus as we enter Holy Week.
Debbie

Phil 2: 5-7
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
John 13:34
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.


Click Here for a one-page April Covid Resource Update
 

Author

ringen headshot.jpeg
Debbie Ringen

Deborah is the Minister of Health and Wellness at the Southern New England Conference.

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