A Weekly publication of The Awakening Institute for Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Direction, and Soul Care
Hi Everyone, I pray blessings upon you, that you are experiencing the presence of God in every moment of your days. Now is a good time to be still and let God speak in your heart.
God Is Everywhere
God, who is the transcendent Other is in fact simultaneously immanently present. God is everywhere! 1 In a paradoxical dance God’s closeness, in conjunction with God’s beyondness, or otherness, is drawing us toward transformation of spirit, soul, mind and body; never leaving behind what has come before but assimilating and transforming all into an ever deeper experience of Reality, as we experience God’s presence; God with us, God in us, and us in God.
Awareness in this sense is very much about learning to be present to God’s presence, in the moment. God’s activity in our past can be remembered and by faith we know God will be active in our future, but God can only be experienced in the now. This presence of God ties closely to the concepts of immanence. In other words, God’s closeness and our ability to know God’s closeness, combined with a sense of God’s transcendence, which is the realization that God is beyond us, thus is beyond knowing, as we define knowing, brings forth a new experience of God in our lives. A new awareness comes from an experience of this paradox, as we seek and find ways to give ourselves to God, thus having our ability to sense and respond to God sharpened. We begin by accepting the idea that God is reaching out to us and that all creation, both temporal and eternal, is designed by God to do just that. This is the feeling we have when we stand in awe of a beautiful sunrise, flower, or tree; when we look into the night sky filled will stars or at a mighty storm that takes our breath away. It is the feeling we have when looking at a new born baby, or children at play, or someone we love dearly. It is the moments when we realize that all is a gift and all we can say is thank you Lord. These are the heart moments in life when we realize how small we are simultaneous with the realization that we are God’s Beloved. As we pay attention to God’s eternal, perfect, and balanced, immanent and transcendent dance we discover God is speaking to us. Our awareness is sharpened when we take time to stop, listen, and meditate on God’s presence as well as God’s greatness, which is beyond Our knowing, that we begin to hear and to learn the voice of God, who seeks to communicate and transform us at every turn.
Experience: A great way to begin developing this ear for God’s presence is by imaginatively entering into God’s Word. As you read following Scripture, imagine yourself as one who has entered the biblical narrative. What do you see, hear, smell, taste, feel with your body, and feel emotionally as you experience this event. Who are you as the event unfolds? What are you doing, thinking and/or saying? What would you say to one of the people depicted in the event if you could speak to them, how might they react. Feel free to converse with any of these people as the scene unfolds. Be aware of all that is going on to the best of your ability. After the closing silence, answer the two questions and write down in your journal as much of your experience as you can.
1. Open with 3 minutes of silence
2. Listen to or read the following Scripture. If you are reading be sure to read slowly allowing God’s Word to penetrate you.
When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; 21 and while they were eating, he said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me." 22 And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, "Surely not I, Lord?" 23 He answered, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born." 25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, "Surely not I, Rabbi?" He replied, "You have said so." 26 While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." 30 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. NRS Matthew 26:20-30
3. Close with 3-5 minutes of silence.
4. How did you experience the Lord’s words and actions? How did you feel?
5. How is God present with you, right now?
6. What aspects of the transcendent, or the mystical
7. Journal your experience
1 This article is excerpted from “Christian Mysticism in Today’s World” a twelve week experience offered by The Awakening Institute for Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Direction and Soul Care. If you would like further information about this class/experience, or any of the many other spiritual development experiences offered by The Awakening Institute please email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit our website at www.theawakeninginstitute.com