Today, we began with a Quiet Morning, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Taking two parables about the Kingdom of God and God’s Wisdom from Matthew (chapter 13, vv 44-46), he spoke of how these great treasures are found as a surprise, not as a result of our constantly working at it, or planning for it (not good news for someone who makes her living helping people plan!). He said that Wisdom “explodes” on the labourer who was doing the work he did daily, digging in the field, when his spade “klunks” on a great treasure…and then goes off to accumulate the money to buy the field because he now knows the true value of what is there. No ordinary field any more, this. No ordinary work.
The challenge now is to seek the treasures of Wisdom, of the Kingdom of God, as the Anglican Consultative Council, and live into/sink into the world that we find of God’s beauty, justice, wisdom, and love. We need to build on the wonderful shock of Jesus’ death and resurrection, so recently remembered. And we’ve been sent to our rooms or the hotel grounds to ponder and pray about this in silence.
Those of you who know me will realize that quiet contemplation is not easy for me, so my computer and you now have become my way of trying to articulate where my mind and heart go when given that challenge. Some thoughts that emerge:
jolts of electricity provide new energy, and the Communion needs that. Less tension, more open letting go (I’m already feeling that since we as Canadian Anglicans are being greeted with warmth and stated relief that we are here to participate fully, and not suspicion or disgust as we experienced in Nottingham three years ago when we sat as observers);
we need to pray for lots of spades “klunking” together in this meeting, not just one or two labourers/members finding a treasure (and that’s when meetings really sing, isn’t it?);
we need to trim down, to set aside old prejudices, old assumptions and make this not a meeting of yet another level of hierarchy, even if it’s called an “Instrument of Communion”, but a living, newly energized organism embracing and living into God’s world.
One of the great “pearls” of this event is the way the Archbishop gently opens doors for me to see the potential in coming together as a Communion without dictating the parameters, just hinting about direction. And also the potential for me to grow, almost to dance, as a Christian. My spade “klunked” with joy and delight at this treasure once again discovered and experienced this morning. I feel gifted to be here among others to experience that together.
p.m. The afternoon brought the first meeting of our “Discernment Group”, about 20 of us who gather in confidence to get to know each other and eventually as the meeting goes on, learn to speak with each other in love about our concerns and views. Today’s focus was on introductory exercises, and they made me eager to know even more about each of the people I met.
Official welcomes followed tea…with the exciting news that there is a Jamaica-wide Eucharist tomorrow with Caribbean music and the West Indian liturgy…thousands are expected. And, as I drift slowly into a doze-y state, the music of a steel band plays outside at some reception. Good hint of what’s to come.