A blogpost by Roberta J. Egli
Over the past weeks of this stay at home pandemic reality, I have begun most days drinking coffee in our backyard, in the cool spring morning, listening to a daily devotional a friend recommended titled Lectio 365. Like many good things (i.e. Messy Church) it originates from the UK and uses the rhythm of P.R.A.Y; Pause, Rejoice and Reflect, Ask, and Yield. I have resonated deeply with the opening invitation to pause: “As I enter prayer, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.” (Learn more Here)
As someone who has worked from home for almost three years, I have been surprised at how difficult it has been for me to focus for a sustained period of time during this physical distance work rhythm. My mind is scattered, jumping from one thought to the next attempting to figure out what the future of Messy Church USA will look like which leads me to get stumped because this is a completely new reality for us all. We are living in an extended pause and even though part of the USA is beginning to ‘re-open’, we will not be returning to any semblance of what life looked like prior to COVID-19. Taking a moment to be still and breathe the prayer; “re-center by scattered senses upon the presence of God” has been a life preserver to cling to.
I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.Morning Prayer, Lectio 365
In the Bible paraphrase, The Message, by Eugene Peterson, Jesus gives strength to his followers with these words: “Are you tired? Worn out burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11: 28-30, The Message)
My friends, we have all responded to this pandemic in different ways. Each day may find us experiencing wildly different emotions. I have heard people describing ‘roller coasters’ of emotions. As we continue to step into the unknown future, may we put our trust in our God of all time. We are not alone; God is with us. We are not alone; a global Messy Church community gathers to share ideas, experiences and a taste of life. We are not alone; we can rely on the unforced rhythm of grace rather than our own anxieties, scattered senses or strategies to re-open. We are invited into the unforced rhythm of grace as we simply take one step and then another as we follow in the way of Jesus the Christ.
My friends, wherever you find yourself,whatever emotion you are experiencing, take a deep breath, pause for a moment and center your scattered senses on the presence of God. (repeat often!)
Grace and peace, Roberta