Practice of the Month: Discernment

‘Christians believe that human beings have the capacity to hear, see, touch, and feel God – a genuine sensing of truth and beauty through which we know God and know God’s will. Christians call this discernment. Some Christians depict this capacity as a supernatural gift, a miraculous directive, or an extraordinary mystical experience. Others view finding God’s will as a mechanical process; if you follow “four spiritual laws” or go through “forty days of purpose,” you will know your life direction. But Christian tradition points toward something more mundane: discernment as a practice that can be developed through participation in reflection, questions, prayer and community.’ – Diana Butler Bass, Christianity for the Rest of Us

For a long time, I have found these words from Diana Butler Bass foundational in my own faith journey.
Discernment, at its simplest, is the process of asking two questions: ‘Where is God?’ and ‘How is God calling me to join in the Kingdom’s work?’ Two basic, yet profound questions.

Too often, in the life of the Church, we have gone about our life without asking these foundational questions. We have seen our churches change dramatically over recent decades, and instead of asking ‘What is God doing here?’ we panicked, and either circled the wagons and closed in on ourselves; or we tried to come up with every newfangled scheme to get people to ‘come back to church.’

But what if God has been at work in our community this whole time? How might God be inviting us to participate right now? – Daniel

One Comment

  1. I am fascinated by the idea that God places us in certain communities, and the people we meet along the way. Sometimes our paths cross fleetingly, but memorably. Yes, God uses us where we are to receive and be a blessing to others. It is an exciting journey of discovery and purpose.

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