So, last week, Guy took us through an en-visioning of the moments immediately after the Prodigal Son is given the robe and the ring, knowing there is about to be a party thrown in his honour. His honour?! After all he had done?! After wasting his inheritance?!
As Guy unpacked this, we were encouraged to use our 'prophetic imagination' to work through the intervening moments. There you are, the son/daughter, and the Father is standing there before you. You've scrubbed up, put on the robe, and have this family signet on your finger. What do you say? What does the Father say? What happens in that moment?
When we talk about 'prophetic imagination', we believe that God can harness even our imagination to speak to us. That in fact, using our imagination means God might talk to us in ways that don't even fit our current experiences or world-views. And that this imagination can indeed become a prophetic word over our lives, as God calls things out that need to be created, woken up, restored or revived within us.
And as we did this exercise together, I'm sure there were different experiences for all. Some will have found it easy to imagine a conversation with the Father, some not so easy. Maybe experiences of our own lives can define the ease (or not) with which we can engage in this sort of intimate, life-revealing conversation with Father God.
If you want to explore this whole area more - why not take a listen to the Podcast here and see what happens when you engage with your imagination in this way. We'd love to hear your comments on what happens!
"I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the all-glorious Father, may confer on you the spiritual gifts of wisdom and vision; with the knowledge of him that they bring. I pray that your inward eyes may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope to which he calls you, how rich and glorious is the share he offers you among his people in their inheritance, and how vast are the resources of his power open to us who have faith."
We've all known, or (like me) been someone with an addiction issue, or some sort of compulsive behaviour, right? My story is certainly punctuated with addiction issues that threatened my wellbeing, my relationships, and ultimately my life. So it only felt right that as a church Committed to Kindness, we should link up with the UK Recovery Course folks, and bring it over to Toronto.
This course brings the well-known twelve steps of recovery to life with a Christ-centred approach. We will eat together, hear a message on recovery, and then have time in same-sex groups to talk through our own journeys and take this road together.
The course will be starting this fall, so watch this space for more information. In the meantime, check out some of the stories that have come out of the UK Recovery course. We believe there are more stories to come!
Wednesday 25 April, from 7pm, St Leonards Church, 25 Wanless Ave, Toronto.
It has been such a difficult week. Amidst the tragedy that Monday brought, we will be meeting tonight to worship, pray for our city, and cling to the promise that God is present; in us and around us. More than ever, we feel that this is not a time to be alone. Let's stand together to pray blessing over our unsettled city, families and friends. #notalone #torontostrong #hereforyou #breathe
So this season, we're learning together about how to wait well during that 'gap' between a promise of God and it's fulfilment. We often find ourselves in these places, 'these lands between', and how we choose to wait is really important. It deeply affects our level of intimacy with God, our faith, and hope, and can define how we respond to circumstances. Watch this fantastic testimony called 'Dance Again'. It is an amazing story of how one couple chose the only 'reasonable response' to God's promise over nearly a decade which was marred with illness and pain.
This story started our conversation about "Waiting on the Promise" - something we'll be continuing on our Wednesday night Breathe Worship times together.
Guy explains that the God's unconditional Love is available to all of us through the gifts of freedom, peace, love, joy, mercy and forgiveness. However, for us to receive these gifts, we must release the heavy burdens we take on ourselves such as self-centredness, resentment, anger, and control.
When I think back on my life -- especially the dark and desperate times -- what has made the difference was that someone went for a walk with me; someone fed me; someone took me for a pint. I have very little memory of what anyone said to me. But I do remember those who listened attentively. It was their practical kindness that made the difference.
The wonderful thing is that kindness isn’t tricky. It isn’t sophisticated. It doesn’t require a great deal of wisdom, or insight, or discernment. In fact, it’s quite hard to get kindness wrong.While it’s simple, kindness has a profound effect on us. If we’re unfortunate enough to come under another person’s judgement, it causes us to shut down, to withdraw, to try to protect ourselves. Kindness does just the opposite, and then some. Its influence can open us up, call us out, and call forth the best in us. (more…)