“I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, because of all that the Lord has done for us, and the great favor to the house of Israel that he has shown them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.” (Isaiah 63:7)
Have you ever considered celebrating as a spiritual discipline? Given the current crises of the Corona pandemic, I admit that it was not the first thing that came to mind as I reconsidered my rhythm of life in order to adapt to our new reality.
Finding it hard this year to set aside my preoccupations in order to prepare the approaching Easter holiday, I came across a text by Jean Vanier about celebrating the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday at the Arche homes:
“During this meal, we bring to mind all the moments of grace we have lived together during the past year. Then we wash each other’s feet and ask forgiveness one of another. All this is done with love and simplicity and a real sense of the sacred. After that we go to pray in the chapel, spending time with Jesus who had said in the Garden of Olives: “Can you watch one hour with me?””
It struck me that this kind of celebration was exactly what I needed to get me through this challenging time! A simple meal-time can provide a break from mulling over the latest media coverage as we “bring to mind moments of grace”. Sharing nourishment together can turn into a celebration of forgiveness after having lost patience with one another because our nerves have rubbed thin. And when feelings of powerlessness and loss of control threaten to overwhelm us, prayer encourages us to keep watch with Jesus, who in the midst of our confusion and pain, is already working out our salvation.
Prayer of Response:
“Lord, thank you, that you know my limits to dealing with life’s difficulties. Thank you for giving me a break from my struggles by celebrating.”
—Submitted by Gudrun Reeves
Gudrun lives and works with her husband and four austro-texan children in the Christian retreat center Champfleuri (near Grenoble, France) where two LSM schools and several connect soul-care days have taken place.