Growing in Experiencing God

As Christians, we are drawn to experiencing “The Triune God” in the persons of the Holy
Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We see this reflected in our baptismal covenant (Book of Common Prayer pp. 304-5), which begins with those three subjects in the Apostles’ Creed.

This deep and mysterious three-fold nature of God is the core reality to which we commit
ourselves in baptism. They are all avenues to God, all part of one another, related to one
another in a community of love. We’ll never plumb the depths of this mystery completely, but experiencing and accepting God’s triune nature changes us at every level. From this deep well, we go on to experience God in ways that energize our lives and affect the lives of others in profound ways.

Christianity offers many doorways into spiritual experience, an experience of God, and we can choose the doorway through which we want to enter.

One way many Episcopalians affirm that they experience God’s majesty, glory and power is in nature. One of the gifts of creation – of sky, stars, ocean and much more – is that it draws us into a sense of God’s presence and power. The created world shows off the Creator’s glory. St. Paul said that we can clearly see God’s eternal power and divine nature “through everything God made.” (Rom. 1:20)

We also experience God through beauty as an important part of the Anglican tradition:
architecture, music, prayers, stained glass, vestments and textile arts, language. We can
and do experience God through beauty and beautiful things. In this way, God opens us to a wide variety of experiences of spirituality—all increasing our awareness of God’s invitation to us for a new kind of life.

An essential part of how we Episcopalians experience God is in liturgy—in Word, Sacrament, and the gathered community. In a rich, dynamic interaction, the individual’s experience of God speaks to the community, and the community’s experience of God speaks to the individual. The community, for Episcopalians specifically and Christians more broadly, is where everything comes together in the experience of God.

I. Growing in knowledge, grace, deeds and mercy

Key question: In what ways are you seeking to grow in both the knowledge and the
grace of God?

Within creation, there is a hunger to know God inside of each person. We can try many
different ways to dampen, ignore, or redirect that hunger, but it remains buried within us. It’s part of the natural blueprint of who we are. God made us not only as feeling people but thinking people. We wonder, we question, we evaluate. Our minds hunger to know and to understand God. Toward that end, we engage with God in much the same way we would engage with another person: we seek to know them and to understand them. We ask questions, we listen, we observe.

“For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.”
— Teresa of Ávila

This week read and reflect daily on the following scripture. Open a natural flow of
conversational prayer with the Holy Spirit as you meditate on the scriptures, inviting the
Spirit to connect with you.

2 Peter 3:18a
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Colossians 2:1-9
For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you, and for those in Laodicea,
and for all who have not seen me face to face. I want their hearts to be encouraged
and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding
and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself,  in whom are
hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I am saying this so that no
one may deceive you with plausible arguments.  For though I am absent in body,
yet I am with you in spirit, and I rejoice to see your morale and the firmness of your
faith in Christ. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were
taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.

Ask God your questions
God is unafraid of our questions and unshaken by our doubts. God is not
threatened or diminished in any way by our inquiries. Take some time to write
out your questions to God. What do you wonder? What do you want to know?
What really matters to you?

 

 

© 2017 Robert E. Logan.

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Calvary Episcopal Church

This is a forum for learning and discussion about Christianity. Calvary Episcopal Church is an open and welcoming community of Christians in Flemington, New Jersey

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