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The Spiritual Rhythms “Five A Day”

READ AND REFLECT

We are very used to listening in services but we do not always find it easy to take space to reflect for ourselves on the meaning of what we have heard. In this service suggestions there are suggestions for ways of introducing space for reflection.

The preparation time for a group is an important starting place. Having read the Bible readings the group take time to reflect on what is suggested to them. What memories, what poems or stories are triggered by the readings? Which one feels like the right one for the church you are preparing for at that moment? How can you help others to reflect on it?

Bible Readings

I suggest your use the Bible readings set for the date. These are on the plan and your first reflection would be which are appropriate and how many?

In the service, how can you use the service to enable people to reflect on the readings?

  • After the reading have short silence to reflect – you could offer a couple of questions as a guide-
    • What words spoke to you?
    • What did you struggle to understand?
    • Did you think it said anything to our church today- what?
    • How would this speak into the world?

    I wouldn’t choose more than 2 questions and after the silence reread the reading.

  • You could use a piece of music rather than silence, as some people find silence hard- but remember if anyone has tinnitus then background music is very difficult.
  • You could ask people to talk to just one or two people about what they thought- sometimes you can then join small groups into larger and create a bigger reflection. You will know your people- but you can take a risk.
  • You can ask people to draw or write their reflections, again its knowing your people but be prepared to be surprised!

Poems and Prose

Some Bible readings suggest a poem or a passage from a book, or a story/memory. In the service these could be linked to the reading.

Music

Singing the Faith has a section (from 749) called liturgical settings. These vary from chants to musical settings of prayers. These can be used to give space to reflect either sung or listened to.

Hymns

The words of hymns we can find hard to sing, like 413 in Hymns and Psalms can form prayers and means of reflecting together.

Obviously choosing hymns which reflect the readings enables more reflection.

Church Preparation

How about using this theme as a challenge? Invite people to work together as a group to prepare a service- meet together, reflect together, give people the readings in advance and see who is prepared to be involved or at least try.