Southpoint News March 11, 2016
Anne’s Lenten Musings: “Discerning the Voices”
“Many are saying, ‘God will not deliver him.’But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” Psalm 3:2-3
In Lent, we intentionally sit at the table of scarcity. It is kind of like germinating seeds by putting them in the greenhouse. By putting ourselves in the wilderness, we are creating the spiritual conditions that bring on a certain kind of growth. Entering Lent with intention deepens our experience of Resurrection.
This year, as we’ve sat in the wilderness with Jesus, we’ve been trying to pay attention to the voices that are co-mingled, tangled up within us. As we grow silent and begin to attend to the voices within us, we hear voices that make us uncomfortable, our inner tapes that grow out of our personal experiences of scarcity – voices of fear, anger, doubt, despair. As we acknowledge these voices and give them a chance to be heard, they seem to grow louder, stronger. This feels even more uncomfortable. For Jesus, the table of scarcity was a place of testing, a vulnerable place where he was tempted by the god of scarcity, Satan, to turn his back on God. The table of scarcity can be a place of testing for us as well.
But do not be afraid, and do not turn away. For in the silence, we will also begin to hear voices of promise and invitation, voices whispering faith and hope, voices coming like a shaft of light after a hard spring rain. They might be very hard to hear at first, slowly discerned and falteringly felt. We will hear them more clearly if we are listening out for them, making room for them in the midst of the louder voices of doubt and fear.
This is the clarifying labour that happens when we choose to stand still and face the scarcity of the desert. It is hard work, but it is such important work. The Holy Spirit is with us in this work. The angels will be ministering to us in this work. The wild animals will companion us in this work. This attentive listening is the work of the soul.
There will come a moment when all these voices will be teased out and laid before you on the table of scarcity. Instead of being all gnarled up within you, like a tight ball, the Spirit will have teased them out so that you can examine them together, you and God. This is the fruit of your labouring. At last, with these voices laid out before you, there will be space for you to choose which voices will have authority in your life.
This is the work that Ignatius calls the Discernment of Spirits. It is crucial for navigating the waves of consolation and desolation through which we we all sail. Do not fault yourself for experiencing these waves. They are as natural to your inner life as waves are to an ocean. However, if you do not know how to navigate them, you will be easily overwhelmed. You might want to give up on sailing with God altogether! That, my friends, would be a huge loss, for in time, the table of scarcity becomes the table of sustenance.
“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.” – Psalm 3
CALENDAR: LENT AND HOLY WEEK?
March 13th: Sunday Gathering @ 11:15 Speaker: Brian Oger
March 20th: Palm Sunday – ALL IN Gathering@ 11:15
We will meet in the garden and process in @ 11:15 with Palm Branches, flags, and instruments. Come on time if you’d like to be a part of this grand entry into “Jerusalem”.
March 25th: Good Friday Stations of the Cross, 10-12 am. Kingfisher Farm, 512 172nd St.
This year, the theme of scarcity will be woven into the stations of the cross. We will reflect on the many faces of scarcity that Jesus experienced in the passion and listen for the voice of scarcity woven through the story.??
March 26th: Holy Saturday – Day of voluntary fasting to enter the scarcity of death.
March 27th: Easter Abundance @ 11:15
This Easter, our celebration will focus around the communion table. After the scarcity of Lent, we will experience the abundance of Easter by having a big, beautiful feast together. Please bring flowers in abundance to help us decorate the cross – Easter is so early this year we’ll have to scour our gardens for these early signs of resurrection. And to help make our communion table a huge feast, bring along something bread-like to share – banana bread, hot cross buns, cinnamon rolls, etc. And for the gluten-free bakers in our midst, help! We don’t want to leave anyone out of the abundance!! Easter egg hunt in the garden for our children:)