The pastors initiated some pastoral care when we found that a number of men were between jobs. They were mainly professionals in manufacturing, retail, finance and service industries. We formed a WhatsApp chat group with Wai Tuck as a co-ordinator. We called it Men In Transition. We met them for prayer and meditation (lectio divina), sharing, and meals periodically.
Last week Tom Cannon and I met them for a few hours of reflection on their vocational history. We got them to draw a timeline and reflect on the high and low points of their years of working life. We asked them to ponder how God was present in their careers, using Old Testament Joseph’s timeline as an example. It opened their eyes. Then Tom led them in a lectio divina on the passage Isaiah 43:1-7. This was followed with a time of sharing their reflections. We listened to their stories of pain, victories, struggles, weaknesses and wrapped up everything by bring these to the Lord in prayer. The Lord was present to impart peace and comfort.
Then we proceeded to The Ranch for a $10 set meal. Lovely morning; wonderful fellowship! To do work that encourages, enlightens and give hope to people you care about is such a satisfying thing.
It’s not meant to be a chore or religious duty but it can easily become such. It’s not meant to be an intellectual ritual, but sadly it is for many. Reading and meditation on Scriptures and praying from them can be a lovely time of listening and sitting at the Lord’s feet. We quiet ourselves. We take a portion of the Bible and read slowly and listen for Him. Some phrase, word, image or insight gently rise above the rest and we dwell on that and eat. And chew. Let our spiritual organs digest and draw nutrition for our walk. Talk to the Lord about your pondering and the feelings that surfaced. How nice, how pleasant it is to dwell in the house of His presence.
If you are wondering what to read and find it hard to decide, why not try the Revised Common Lectionary. Four bite sized portions of Scriptures every week that covers the major themes of the Bible in three years. Some days you may want to linger longer in a passage that is rich and from which the Lord is speaking significant matters to you. Go deeper and abide there till what He wants said is said.
Pin the website to your home page on your smartphone, or favourite it in your web browser. May your times with the Lord be sweet this year.
So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it, it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey”. (Rev 10:9 ESV)