'restore The Church's Ancient Skills'

Various people gather for daily morning prayer across the road. This week one evangelical church worker prayed 'Restore the church's ancient skills'. 'What do you mean by that?' I asked her. She replied  ‘The people unconsciously long for God to dwell among them, but they do not find God by going to a church building that is empty all week; the early churches in this land were monastic. They were spiritual homes,  which anyone could wander in or out of seven days a week. They had a relationship with a trans-monastic community to which they could contribute, join in prayer or meals, talk to someone or just chill out.'

 

Philip Sheldrake writes: *Living Between Two Worlds: Place and Journey in Celtic Spirituality (Darton, Longman & Todd 1995 p.39)

 

Monks in the tradition of Columbanus saw monastic settlements as anticipations of paradise in which the forces of division, violence and evil were excluded. Wild beasts were tamed and nature was regulated. The privileges of Adam and Eve in Eden, received from God but lost in the Fall, were reclaimed. The living out of this vision of an alternative world involved all the people who were brought within the enclosed space. It was not something that concerned merely the ‘professional’ ascetics. The Columbanian tradition, for example, believed that all people were called from birth to the experience of contemplation. So, ‘monastic’ enclosures were places of spiritual experience and non-violence and also places of education, wisdom and art. Within the enclosures there took place, ideally speaking, an integration of all the elements of human life, as well as of all classes of human society.

The download of a Village of God chart in the web site's resources sections presents possibilities.

That is the future: for churches to become the community of communities.

 

Posted at 18:53pm on 9th February 2019
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