LENTEN DEVOTIONS

"Does Your Heart Break?"

"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" | Kelly Stewart Hall

Watch the Film "Does Your Heart Break?" 

 

Going Deeper

  • What did you hear, see, or feel during the film that you will carry with you? 

  • What is your prayer for transformation this week? 

  • Are you able to make out anything in the dark? What are you beginning to see? 

  • What breaks your heart? 

  • What is the cry of your soul? 

 

Reflection 

You may find this week becomes an outcry to God for help. You might find yourself feeling a bit divided. There are almost two you’s in this place — the dying you sitting right next to the emerging you—both looking with awe at one another. One carries the burdens of what was and is, and one carries the possibilities of what is and what will be. 

This is an amazing place to sit. A place where deep compassion and blessing can flow. A place of honor and celebration, and a place where grief has a place and purpose also.

Take your time blessing and saying goodbye to who and what is being left behind.

Take your time blessing and saying goodbye to who and what is moving forward from here. It’s okay to ask God for help releasing here. God not only hears your cry, God is your cry.

Practice

The images in the film were striking to me. It reminded me of this poem I wrote years ago. I offer it here as a gift from my humanity to yours. Feel free to use it during your prayer and meditation times, or to write your own poem or piece symbolizing your outcry to God.

its the cold of this morning that reminds me 

of skin and limitation, 

even as I gather to witness 

before the valiant triumph of sun 

lighting prisms in the yard, 

the pride of frost, 

especially despite a particularly warm January.

 

drips of condensation, 

roll together on the eaves, 

coming together, mass 

falling one by one, 

with great purpose 

expanding on impact.

 

i watched cardinal and his wife 

turning their regal heads, 

chattering among 

as the congregants of Oak 

scamper and squawk 

with their offerings.

 

i follow other trills, chirps, and coos 

but it’s the shrill of the red tailed hawk 

that enlivens me, 

preaches this sunday morning 

shows me myself, how I, too 

scream in the sanctuary

 

this is quite startling. 

quite startling, indeed. 

Visio Divina Practice

Breathe in, focusing on what it feels like to take in air through your nose or mouth,down your throat, the expanse of your ribcage on all sides. Just breathe for 1-5 minutes, notice your natural rhythm of breath slow and deepen. A good aim to practice towards is 4 seconds of inhale and 4 seconds of exhale…but that is just a guideline.


Listen, things will come most likely come up. Some song, a to-do thing, the mind may take a bit to settle. It’s okay. Just reassure yourself that you will come back to whatever it is later. When you are ready, move around a little. If you want to write about your time, do it, offer gratitude for breath.


As you watch, welcome the poetic blessing and song lyrics as companions, ask your ears to hear, ask your eyes to lead you. What strikes you? Are there words or phrases or a lyric that resonates? Make note, either in your heart, your mind, or on paper.


Rest your eyes for a few minutes and breathe.


Open your eyes and play the film a second time. Go beyond the words into the images. Let your eyes lead you. What are you drawn to? What does it make you feel? Write about this deeper sense. Close your eyes again and breathe. Again, make note.


Open your eyes and play the film a third time. Allow Spirit to bring forward a message for you; a word, a phrase, or an emotion. Don’t judge what comes up, just allow. What does this communicate to your life today? Breathe and take it all in. Soak in it. Spend time with God. With all this revealed, leave your heart open to God for just a bit longer. Let God roll around in all that has been exposed. Experience God’s engaged healing presence. Make a note of your experience.


Respond to God in your own way. Ask God how you can take what you have learned into the world. 

YOU ARE WELCOME HERE ...

Whether you label yourself a "Christian," or are uncertain whether you believe in anything any more, you are welcome to worship at Green Meadow United Methodist Church. Single, married, partnered, divorced, gay, rich, poor, USAmerican, or immigrant, you are welcome here. Burned out on religion -- whether organized, or disorganized -- bedraggled and hungover, addicted or in recovery, just out of jail, you are welcome here. Have no idea about Holy Communion, hymnals, or when to stand or sit? Don't worry, the pastor didn't either when he first stepped into a United Methodist Church as an adult -- and he was welcomed, too. 

We're glad you're here! 

ABOUT OUR CHURCH

We are a United Methodist Community of Worship, serving in the Smoky Mountain District of the Holston Conference. Our mission is to be an open gathering place to nurture Christians in training who, equipped by the Holy Spirit, go into the world and share the light of Jesus Christ.

A MISSIONAL CHURCH

Whether it's building mission kits for flood victims, sending food buckets to Zimbabwe, working with Family Promise of Blount County, helping the Salvation Army's lunch ministry, or gathering peanut butter for the Community Food Connection, "Meadow Folk" are engaged in the missio Dei ... God's mission of love.

SUNDAY ACTIVITIES

Sunday mornings at Green Meadow are, in a way, much of what you would expect when you come to a United Methodist Church: we gather for Sunday School and we worship together. We also share a breakfast once a month, and in months where we have a fifth Sunday, we have a potluck dinner.

ABOUT US

We are a United Methodist Community of Worship, serving in the Smoky Mountain District of the Holston Conference. 

CONTACT US

1633 Louisville Road

Alcoa, TN 37701

Phone: 865-982-5800

Email: greenmeadowpastor@gmail.com

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