Monday, December 3, 2007

The Journey of Faith part 4

Each fall for 15 years, up to 100 people gathered every Wednesday night at Calvary Episcopal Church in Memphis, Tennessee, to explore the meaning of the Sacred Journey. Led by the Rev. Dr. Douglass M. Bailey, the participants in the class listened and talked about their own journey and the journey of others. The class affirmed the individual nature of each journey and each person's need to explore the questions that can shape their path. The people who journeyed together each fall learned about prayer, community, death and resurrection. They heard questions and reflections from others, and through them came to a better understanding of their own spiritual growth.

We have included an overview of the Journey material here in hopes that some of the ideas may help you on your own Spiritual path. The questions are meant for you to ask yourself and those traveling with you. Use those that are meaningful to you as guideposts, pointing down a road you may not yet have explored.

Journey with the Eternal Christ: Experiencing the post-Easter Jesus

In John 20:19-29, the risen Christ appears to the disciples, who are meeting behind locked doors.Thomas is absent then and doubts what the others have seen. A week later the disciples meet in the same place, and Jesus again stands among them. Thomas, now present, is able to touch the wounds of the risen Lord.

This scripture describes a 'sacramental moment' for Thomas. Sacraments are physical activities that help us experience the spiritual. Thomas touched the risen Jesus and immediately saw Jesus as the Christ. It is Thomas' Easter story....the wounded Jesus returns and Thomas is forever changed.

Sacramental moments are not limited to Biblical stories...we all have them, we just may not recognize them. Sometimes these sacramental moments are called 'thin places'; they're where the world of the spiritual and the world of the physical meet. Thin places may be what some call mountaintop experiences. These special moments of closeness to God can happen outdoors as we experience the grandeur of nature, or occur when we, like Thomas, have retreated to a closed room in fear.

Can you recall a sacramental moment or a thin place? It may be a moment frozen in your memory.Who was there? Can you remember the sounds, sights, smells? The key questions is how do we experience Christ today? One answer is that we experience Christ in these thin places.

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