It is all well and good those who led the Lent gatherings this year putting things they said up on this website . It is as important to know what those who came actually heard. So, at the beginning of the fifth session, we asked them. Both afternoon and evening groups spoke about the forms of community (in the church and elsewhere) which support people and help them flourish. Both groups identified the value of genuine attention, empathy and listening to help unburden people. Both groups dwelt on how transformative it is to see things from the point of view of others, and not to settle for what we think we already know and understand. Those who came in the afternoon reflected on how important and how hard forgiveness is. The scale of the needs of others had also impacted on them as they had listened each week. Those who came in the evening expressed a renewed awareness about how risky and dangerous acts of generosity and love can be.
“Thy Kingdom Come”
Peter Mullins helping us bring this all together with ‘Thy kingdom come’.
Jesus taught about God’s kingdom breaking in around us, and led us to pray for its coming here as much as in heaven. We were reminded of the language of a foretaste - catching something of the flavour of a feast we are not yet at. We were reminded of the language of birth pangs - the labour pains involved as a new life is brought forth. We wondered whether the things we had been exploring for five weeks were telling us about the character of God’s kingdom, about savouring the hints of what it is intended to be, about how the moment it begins among us can be as traumatic as a difficult birth. Those who live among or minister with people with fractured mental health, in situations of debt, in the Heavy Metal scene, and at the work place had been reporting and reflecting on what this had meant to them. What we heard about were signs of God’s kingdom breaking in around us, about being ever more tuned into celebrating these, about recommitting ourselves to be part of this story.