"Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions." - Luke 12:15
"Take care." It's a phrase often heard in daily conversation, frequently in the context of saying goodbye to someone.
Whether it's a friend going into a difficult situation or facing a problem, and you expect to see them again soon on the other side. Whether these words convey the depth of care you feel about someone you may not see again for a long time at the time of a goodbye. Whether you sense that someone could be in some kind of danger, and all you find to say is "take care" : these simple words carry a subtle yet strong range of meanings.
Jesus in these words invites us the listener to take care for our lives. A deeper sense of taking care than that of a feeling in a passing moment, but for reflectively taking in and appreciating what life truly consists of. Do we live as though our lives consisted only in the things we hold on to, and hoard, and keep? What is life, if it is not at first a gift we receive, and at last we will one day let go?
Our spiritual exercises on Sunday July 31 will invite participants to "take care for one's life" in movements that convey a feeling of gratitude for life, and for releasing the feeling of hoarding and grasping.
What are Spiritual Exercises at United Lutheran Church?
A fifteen-minute time for breathing exercises, guided meditation and movement. Our wider culture and society longs for spiritual connection in ways that are experienced, embodied, and practiced. These exercises are meant to serve this wider need. We invite and welcome people of any religious persuasion, of all faiths or none, to join us for spiritual practice.
For Christians and for members of ULC, you're invited to think of the exercises as a "warm-up" for the worship service which begins at 9:30. The words for the guided meditation come from either the Scripture passages for that Sunday or from the worship service (the liturgy). Experiencing these texts in an embodied way will help prepare those who stay for worship for a richer engagement with the texts in the sermon and prayers. For "Spiritual Exercises" the texts selected will emphasize not specific Christian belief, but more general themes, postures, movements, feelings, and values that relate to a wide audience seeking spirituality.
If you are walking by in the north-east Oak Park area on a Sunday morning and looking for something like this, then "Spiritual Exercises" is for you!
Spiritual exercises will be led together by Ole Schenk, minister, and Cacie Miller, music director, both staff members of ULC, or a guest leader.
These blog posts for each coming week will be written by either Ole Schenk, Cacie Miller, or a guest leader.