Every evening the Koinonia community would gather around some ancient Christian icons, lit candles and a cross. Silence would descend upon the room as the lights were dimmed and we sat on the floor in preparation for prayer. Then the community would start singing Taize chants and daily prayer began.
In our darkness,
there is no darkness
with you, O Lord,
the deepest night
is clear as the day
Singing the chants created an atmosphere that invited reflection and meditation. It opened ears to hear how God was speaking at that moment. The absence of a sermon meant the spoken word of scripture was received uniquely by each person. The listener was not pointed in a direction to interpret, but free to let those words speak to their own life.
It was extremely difficult to stop life when it was busy, or, to gather when a break was finally found in our hectic schedule. Prayer was a discipline and the discipline of prayer often provided the greatest meaning. I miss the discipline of community prayer.
Now, I wake every morning to scripture. I pray and meditate over the words as I both listen to and read them. Then I share my reflections with you. The hope is by inviting you into my discipline you might develop your own. Then, through these words, we might both grow in faith and love.
This discipline I share is an ancient practice. It is reflected in this morning’s reading. Paul wrote his thoughts in a letter to the people of faith in Thessalonica. They would read this letter, reflect upon it’s meaning and turn to scripture to continue the process of growing in faith. The interaction between writer, reader and God helped the community see their whole lives as being lived in the presence of God. It’s what turns the deepest night into a bright clear day. (1 Thess. 2: 1-8)