Mindful prayerfulness

Yesterday, Good Friday, at one of my churches, we had a day of creative prayer.  Every couple of hours we had some led prayers and reflections and the rest of the time, everyone was free to wander, to reflect, to read, to listen to music, or to just be still in God’s presence.  It was a wonderful time; a time of retreat together.  There was a strong sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit, a unity through community, and a serious but hopeful contemplation on the message of Good Friday.  You can read one of my past Good Friday reflections here… Christ’s Hands

I shared some thoughts from the people of Solentiname in Nicaragua in the 1970s, whose experience of Jesus was one of liberator; someone who came to set them free from the sins of the corrupt and oppressive political systems they found themselves in. You can read more in The Gospel in Solentiname’ by Ernesto Cardinal  – an amazing script of bible study discussions of the Gospels among these oppressed peoples.  If you live in the privileged West, it is truly worth reading to have your eyes opened to a different Gospel perspective.

I also designed some bookmarks for people to colour in, using them as a kind of mindful prayer to help focus our attention.

JLH bookmarks1

We then laminated the coloured bookmarks for people to take away.

I want to offer these as a resource to anyone who would like to use them for non-commercial purposes.  You may download them and print them for personal use or for use with church or community groups.  Please do not use them for profit.

You can download a pdf version here … Janelydialoves bookmarks1.  I hope you will be blessed by these.

May Jesus, the liberator of the world, give you freedom and hope now and always.

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Happy Easter

Yesterday, three young people in our church led the Easter Sunday service. It was based around a ‘butterfly eucharist’ written by one of the group.  The idea was to use the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly (via the cocoon), as a metaphor for Jesus’ death and resurrection. I was so proud of our young people who were aged 13, 14 and 15. 

During the service they encouraged us to think about how we could be involved in God’s plan to transform the world and as symbols of this we took part in two activities.

Firstly, we made this beautiful cross from butterflies decorated with drawings, prayers, words and names…

  

And then we potted sunflower seeds to take home, nurture, and then to plant somewhere unexpected in order to transform.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first earth had passed away ….  And the one who was seated on the throne said,”See I am making all things new … It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”‘ Revelation 21

Where have you seen transformation? in your community … in the world …? what part could you play in transforming them?

Have you experienced personal transformation?

May the risen Christ transform you today.

Christ’s Hands

  
Today is Good Friday, when we remember how an innocent man was condemned to death simply because he proclaimed a kingdom of justice and love – God’s Kingdom.  Today we remember the man Jesus who, in a mystery we cannot understand in this life, was also God.  Because the cross only makes sense if God sacrificed himself.

I felt moved to sketch the above picture and write this reflection on the hands of Christ …

These hands,
His hands.

Gnarled
Lined
Scarred
Tarred
Worn
Torn
Arthritic
Philippic
Healing
Feeling
Calming
Alarming
Touching
Crushing
Soothing
Accusing…

Accused.


His hands,
These hands,
Our hands.