I've just been on Steve Taylor's blog and 'cut & pasted' the following: Interesting sermon outline on the monastic movement, discipleship and mission...
Today was the monastic movement, particularly Benedictine spirituality, and the implications for discipleship and mission. Since history is about people, I gave a brief introduction to three monks - Anthony, Clare and Benedict. Since history is about place, I looked at the world's oldest, largest and most beautiful monasteries.
The sermon raised some significant questions for me in regard to church life today.
1. Forming disciples. Compare a monk, who prays 7 times a day, 7 days a week. That is 49 church services. Consider how much that shapes a person in the way of Jesus. In contrast, much church going is once a week at best. How much can we really expect to grow in our Christian faith, when many of us watch more TV than enter the Christian story? (Now I know that some of you have daily quiet times. But the challenge of the monastic life was how they committed themselves to grow together, not as individuals).
2. Transforming community. I showed a picture of a Celtic monastery, which functioned as a 7 day a week place of prayer, learning, healing and relating. And the mission question, is church really about a worship service that we drive to? How much can we really expect our neighbourhoods to change, as we drive to and fro once a week?
3. Faith for life. Since Benedict was about all of life - prayer and work - ora et labora, then his “rule” must surely have application outside a monastery. It occurred to me that our working days are filled with breaks. We eat 3 times a day, and stop for morning and afternoon tea. So could that be the start of a “local church rule”; in which we commit to pause for micro-prayer every time we hold a hot drink in our hands?
re-reading brian draper's 'spiritual intelligence' i learned so much the first timm, but i don't know how much i'm putting into practise...
here's a starter:
When you get out of bed:
Breathe in & out, slowly & deeply & notice you're breathing; take a moment to appreciate a new day & the gift of life.
Become aware of the stillness, remember that everything you do today comes out of this stillness & flows back into it again.
Look at your hands; remember that you're not just drifting through today, but helping to shape it from the start. resolve to be a blessing to everyone you touch,; physically, emotionally & spiritually today, & that the work of my hands will be honest, caring & good.
Look at yourself in the mirror - you're part of thr day's picture - not just a passive onlooker - but playing a part as a character of great beauty & great potential