Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Church Matters

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Church Matters

Article excerpt

Byline: By Francis Wood

Take your time

This church is open for private prayer and meditation, said the notice on the church door as the taxi pulled away. "Does anybody go in for meditation these days?" asked the driver. "It sounds a bit beyond people like me."

I told him I could understand his feelings. Meditation has been preached about with such respect that people think it's just for those at the top table in the church. Yet meditation is simple and it's for everyone. The main problem is time. If you don't think it's worth it, you'll never find the time. If you can find five or 10 minutes in the day then it could be a useful addition to your prayers.

Every faith has some sort of meditation. For Christians it means focusing your mind on some aspect of the Lord. You could try a test series. Take the appearances of Jesus after Easter. He was seen on the seashore, in the upper room, on the Road to Emmaus.

Try the sighting on the shore. Find a place where you can be quiet and read the story in St John's Gospel, chapter 21. Picture the scene slowly, using all your senses. What can you see or hear? Can you taste the sea salt on your lips or smell the seaweed? You could feel the texture of the sand between your toes? If you have nothing to say, remember that friends don't talk all the time.

Does the Lord want to say something to you? Is there something you'd like to share with him or that you'd rather hide from him? Tell him all the same. Just spend time together as you would with anyone you can trust. Then say a simple prayer like, "Lord help me to trust you and to follow in your way, now and always."

That's meditation. You might remember it like this. Pause, Picture, Ponder, Pray, Promise. The method is simple but the rewards can be great. "Give it a try," I told the taxi man. "Not while I'm driving," he said.


TREES hold a fascination for Christians. …

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