Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Gift of Still and Thankful Presence


I've been at JMC - the Junior Ministers Conference - for the last three days. It's fairly strange to realise that I'm now in my seventh year of ministry (at least, this sort of ministry anyway): it's like I'm in Upper Sixth of the school of post-college life already! 

The conference took the form of a teaching retreat this year, with an emphasis on centering prayer. Towards the end I could sense words forming in my mind that deserved to be recorded. I'm not sure whether they're a poem, a hymn, or something else - they probably don't work as either! - but here they are for your reading pleasure.

Transcendent and immanent God of power and love,
Set apart in holiness yet drawing close enough
To breathe upon your servant the words of liberation
That quiet down the soul and bring us life:
Receive our gift of still and thankful presence.

When anxious fears and memories of failures past and present
Appear to fill and flood the depths of my obsession,
Now pluck us from the muddy mire to join you in the dance of life,
Your people free to seek the peace that passes understanding:
Receive our gift of still and thankful presence.

Ignored God who courts and woos, tenderly calls my name,
Invites us dwell in One-in-Three, a union for all time.
We hear your call to live in Christ, in love, in peace, in joy;
Now sent in grace your people rest, empowered through grape and grain:
Receive our gift of still and thankful presence.

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