The Waters Edge : Resources for a self guided spiritual journey into the economy of God.
See the intro below to get a vibe….We gave it a test run at UrbanSeed:church last week but the real purpose is for the TEAR Conference in August. I’ll post up actual stations as I feel happy with them…..
In many religions The Waters Edge is an important spiritual place. A walk along a waterfront, a beach or flowing stream can be refreshing for body and soul. A place where one is exposed to the elements; can feel space; see the horizon or take a longer view. Where one’s concerns and problems can flow away on a current or a breeze. A place where the meeting point of the elements; earth, sea and sky, enable one to become aware of one’s connection and proper place within the whole of creation.
In the Jesus tradition The Waters Edge is a powerful symbolic location for many key moments of the spiritual journey. A place of calling, of retreat, a launch for dangerous journeys, a testing ground, a place of failure, confession and recovery. A place to find the faith required to re-imagine the world.
The creation inspired communities of the Celtic tradition developed their distinctive spirituality at the remote edges of the British Isles. Exiled to the island of Iona in 561 AD, Saint Columba captures this spirit of The Waters Edge in his prayer.
Delightful it is to stand on the peak of a rock, in the bosom of the isle,
gazing on the face of the sea.
I hear the heaving waves chanting a tune to God in heaven;
I see their glittering surf.
I see golden beaches, the sands sparkling;
I hear the joyous shrieks of swooping gulls.
I hear the waves breaking, crashing on rocks, like thunder in heaven.
I see the mighty whales.
Contrition fills my heart as I hear the sea; it chants my sins,
Sins too numerous to confess.
Let me bless almighty God, whose power extends over seas and land,
Whose angels watch over all.
Let me study sacred books to calm my soul;
I pray for peace kneeling at heaven’s gates.
Let me do my daily work, gathering seaweed, catching fish,
Giving food to the poor.
Let me say my daily prayers, sometimes chanting,
Sometimes quiet, always thanking God.
Delightful it is to live on a peaceful isle, in a quiet cell,
Serving the King of kings.
This prayer captures the essence of this self guided resource. The Waters Edge combines reflection upon stories from the Jesus tradition with simple spiritual exercises.
The aim is for these offerings to ‘wash’ with one’s physical presence at the waters edge in the hope that it may draw you ‘deeper’ into the ‘ebb and flow’ of the source and sustainer of all life.
The Economy of God
This life is described throughout as ‘the economy of God.’ It is an attempt at capturing for our contemporary context something of the subversive power that ‘the Kingdom of God’, the central image of Jesus’ teachings, had in a world of real kings and kingdoms.
“The biblical understanding of “economy” is grounded in the ancient Hebrew spiritual exercise of ‘keeping Sabbath’. It is neither solely material nor spiritual, but extends to encompass all aspects of what it means to produce and consume as a living being.
Beyond money, this economy includes elements of time, of energy, of work and of re-creation, of relationship with the spiritual, the created order and other people.
Embracing the economy of God involves a realisation that abundant grace underpins an ethic of redistribution that is the only way out of the spiritual and material slavery that is so characteristic of the dominant economy of our world.
The journey of The Water’s Edge is structured in ‘stations’ based around the texts of the Jesus tradition. The stations stand alone in order to allow you to choose a theme that may resonate with you at a given time or you can decide to progress through each in turn.
The Waters Edge Stations:
1. Start Afresh: the baptism of water & fire
2. Disentangle: beyond ‘business as usual’
3. Recasting: fishing for alternatives: the abundant economy.
4. Resistance: beyond empire
5. Retreat: seedy truths
6. Enough: bush tucker economics
7. Crossing Over: stilling the storm
8. Hop-e in the Boat: sink or swim
9. Drown your demons: therapeutic prayer for activists
10. Resurrection Re-invitation: breaking the fast
Our hope is that The Waters Edge may offer a spiritual experience which takes you deeper into the reality of the economy of God, through which the grace and love of the divine may touch and transform the rhythms of your life.