A few people have asked me about the group meditation material we have been using at World Horizons UK as part of our corporate devotional times.
So in case anyone wants to use it, I’ve pasted one of the recent scripted meditations below.
In explanation – this is written by me, but based on what has gone before – visualised meditations that I have read – as written by others. I think its great to share these things, and if anyone wants to mash this one up a bit – please do – I’d love to hear about it if you do. Should say too that its obviously based on the kind of visualisation exercise that Ignatius of Loyola was keen on.
These kind of meditations only form a small part of the wealth of ways of approaching the Bible and Jesus – so use them sparingly is my advice – and be sensitive to who you have in your group – these things will upset some people whose imaginations are particularly sensitive!
You might find it useful to use some quiet ambient music in the background when you do these things – but it must be really unobtrusive to avoid disturbing the multi sensory approach – you could make something in ableton live to do the job – I did that today and it seemed to work quite well. If not – the old Late Late service CD’s may hold useful stuff, as well as the stuff coming out of Grace in London [via proost] – and others too.
I prefer not to use secular material for the following reason – not because I think it is intrinsically bad, but because I think that in this situation it can prove to be a stumbling block to some… they might be wrong, but this is not an appropriate time to deal with that.
So anyway – here’s the text, hope its useful.
Sea of Galilee meditation
This is a led meditation, where we are going to put our minds into the place of a character from the Bible, the aim of the exercise is to experience an encounter with Jesus.
In this one we’re going to use the story leading up to the call of the first disciples, found in Luke chapter 5. (Read passage.)
It’s important to find yourself a comfortable position where you can relax and concentrate on your meditation. Try a straight back and feet flat on the floor – or kneeling. If you find yourself losing concentration, just rest for a moment and then refocus yourself.
If you can’t get on with the meditation at all, don’t worry, but please sit quietly so that others can concentrate more readily.
Close your eyes.
Take a moment to acknowledge the darkness, to get used to seeing nothing.
Let the darkness clear…
You are in a boat on the sea of galilee, you and your brother.
Picture the boat you are in…
Can you hear the waves rippling past you? The wood of your boat creaking?
Can you feel the boat rock beneath you?
Dip your hand into the water, is it cold to the touch?
What can you smell in the air?
You are on the way back from a long hard night of fishing.
What are you doing in the boat now? Where is your brother?
Is the sun shining above you?
Can you feel wind against your face?
It’s early morning, you’ve been fishing all night, how does your body feel?
You are heading to the shore, feeling the wind straining at the sail, you are almost home, nearly finished your fishing trip, looking forward to a rest.
As you look at the shore, you can see a crowd of people, listening to a rabbi teach.
The young rabbi you can recognise as Jesus, you have heard of him, a bold preacher – a radical, someone worthy of great respect.
But you are a nobody, you weren’t good enough to be a rabbi’s disciple, so you’ve become a fisherman, working the sea of galilee with your partners.
And you’re not even a great fisherman, last night you caught nothing.
How do you feel in your heart?
What can you taste in your mouth as you consider your failures?
Look up, someone is calling out to you – it’s Jesus.
How does he look at you? What do you see in his eyes?
He wants you to let him in to your boat, he’s being pressed to the water’s edge by the crowds.
Feel your tiredness melt away as you rush to serve the holy man.
What do you need to make ready in your boat?
And the rabbi is approaching, wading through the waves to your boat, as you reach out to help him on board – how do you feel?
As he settles himself in the boat, to continue his teaching, what are you thinking?
You, the failure, the scruffy fisherman with a reputation for being a bit rough and ready, the man who wasn’t good enough to be a rabbi’s disciple, not good for much except working the sea…
Now you’ve been given a front row seat for the biggest show in town, this is the guy who everyone is talking about, and he’s in your boat!
Jesus has finished teaching and now he’s looking at you again – what is he saying?
He wants you to go back out into the deep water – and put your nets out….
Time to confess your failure – you’re a rubbish fisherman – how does your stomach feel as you admit your failure to the master?
Why does he want to show you up again? What is he trying to prove?
But you cant go against the rabbi – you lower your nets into the deep water, as the nets sink, feel the sinking feeling in your heart too – you know what is coming….
Then feel the strain on the nets…
Feel your muscles tense, there’s something in the net…
The nets are beginning to tear… feel the adrenalin rush through your body…
You wave wildly to the other boat to come and help you, there are so many fish the boats are going to sink – your heart is pounding – look over at Jesus, what is he doing?
What is going through your mind?
Who is this man?
What would you say if he asked you to abandon everything, even this massive catch of fish, even your boat, even your family, to follow him?