Hope to be the community of a meal table – the sense of acceptance that occurs there.
This is a safe space and a breathing space. It takes a lot to carve out time to come on retreat. So much to do, difficult to leave home, to leave work. It can feel selfish and yet it is a critical thing to do.
It can feel scary if you’re not used to it – it is that space to lay ourselves open to God.
The practice can be different – sometimes spending hours in prayer and meeting with God, but sometimes the opposite, where things get stirred up, things you should have paid attention to come to the surface, leaving us feeling angry and troubled. God will lead you through that and be with you in that. The retreat will be different for each person.
We come for very different contexts, we’ve bought luggage with us, but we’ve also bought baggage with us, things that still linger. So to start we’re going to spend time thinking about what baggage we have bought – to name it – not to shelve it and pretend it isn’t there but to present it to God, and to allow him to deal with them.
- Something to celebrate
- A problem to be solved
- A burden that you carry
- Someone who is on your mind
The retreat is based around the theme of home, and to start with we’ll read the text of Luke 15:11-32, using a structure from South Africa with seven steps:
- Invite the Lord to come and speak to us through the passage
- Read the passage out loud
- Dwelling on the text – to read again and in groups share the things that strike you from the text.
- Hear the passage and sit quietly with it for a few minutes, opening ourselves again to God.
- Share in group what have come to your mind and grabbed your attention
- Search together – what does this mean, what God asking us to do
- Pray together