I am back from three weeks spent in spiritual renewal and regeneration while immersed in nature and with family. I am feeling recharged and ready for the late summer and early fall transitions here at the Garden Church. Part of my new spiritual challenge is in trying to hold on to the sense of peace and tranquility experienced while being in nature and to keep it going for as long as I can each day. One spiritual practice I started at the beginning of this year, is to spend one hour in contemplative prayer and meditation each day. I found that when I was out in nature, I only needed about 30 minutes each day to keep that spiritual feeling alive and well.
This week, the spiritual message and theme revolves around another close reading (pericope) of the beatitudes where Jesus gives us insight into discovering the Kingdom of Heaven. These are not silent like stars at night but like lightning that strikes with a thunder that spiritually booms afterward. These charged words offer deep reflection on our own values and can remind us of just how radical it still is to live a spiritually centered life that remains counter to the culture we live in. Here are those words:
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Come and join us this Sunday in person for a further reflection on these powerful words of Jesus.
3pm Work Together
4pm Worship Together
5pm Eat together