Every now and again I hear about God has spoken to someone in clear, undeniable ways, but all the time I hear about how God has spoken to someone through a friend, a parent, a spouse. Holy Conversation is about coming together to listen to each other for the purpose of hearing God’s voice in the voice of another person while hoping that God may somehow speak through me as well.
The New Testament tells us that God is Spirit and God is love (see First John). Because God is Spirit, disembodied personal power as Dallas Willard defines it, God is made physical when his will is embodied in our lives as the Body of Christ filled with his Holy Spirit. When you let God use your hands or voice to do what God intends, you become a part of his active kingdom in the world. That is pretty amazing.
You can know it is God’s will if your words and actions are love embodied. God’s will is summed up in love, but we mean self-sacrifice for the life and goodness of another. Because God is a person and not a force, he is said to be spirit which means he has identity and self-order, and therefore he has attributes that exclude other attributes. God is loving and just and good.
Well, we all have a part to play in knowing and making God known as we enter Holy Conversation together. We have to speak and listen, listen to both each other and to God.
In two weeks, we are going to enter into Holy Conversation together around being the church that God is calling us to be. After the 10:15 am service on 25 February, we will have a time to discern again where God is calling us next. CCA has held similar gatherings before during the search process that brought me here, so the pattern is familiar to many, but this time we will be looking from where we are today.
The food for that day will be potluck, with a theme of tapas, small plates and desserts that can be eaten by hand while listening together for God’s voice.
The Rev. Daniel P. Richards
Christ Church of the Ascension
Paradise Valley, Arizona