“Silence is not emptiness. It is fullness. It is the language of God.”
(Bill Clarke, SJ)
You have been invited by Pastor Jeff to conduct your own Purim Celebration (Esther 9) to remember and celebrate the grace of God in your life. More profoundly, God is inviting you to spend time in silence and reflection with Him. If you accept this invitation God will surely meet you.
Occasionally we wander into things that are important. Most often however, those times result from a combination of planning and “fortunate happenstance”. So a little planning will likely make your Summer (silent) Celebration more significant.
A Few Details / Step 1
- Timeline? Will you spend… 2-4 hours / 4-8 hours / other
- Location? Pick a spot where you will not be interrupted or unnecessarily distracted.
- When? Pick a date and put it into your calendar. Make it non-negotiable. Guard it as sacred.
- Program? What will you do? Have a (flexible) plan. Will you walk, sit by a lake, journal, create a piece of art, etc.?
Preparing / Step 2
We live in a busy, noisy world. You will likely need to take the first 30 – 60 minutes to unwind and settle into your time of reflection. Pray a simple prayer before starting – something like this: “Lord God, meet me in this time of silence. May my heart be open to your loving presence.” Choose a way to unwind that suits your God-given personality.
- Take a walk and imagine laying aside the various pressures and distractions you are carrying.
- Read a favorite passage of Scripture and reflect on it quietly. Suggested passages include: Psalm 23, John 15, Ephesians 1
- Play some music or enjoy nature all the while laying aside the cares of life.
- If you feel the need for sleep, don’t resist too hard! Often a nap will refresh you and help you to be ready to hear from God.
The Heart of the Matter / Step 3
The Celebration of Purim in Esther 9 resulted after God’s deliverance of the Jewish nation. You are encouraged to now reflect on how God has been good and kind to you. When in your life has God delivered you? Some options to aid your reflection:
- Create a simple timeline of your life. Mark significant events on it good and bad. Spend time reflecting and asking God to bring into your consciousness the ways he has been gracious to you and present with you through all of these events.
- Reflect on your spiritual journey. Where did you struggle and resist God? When do you see God calling you? Do you see God’s hand of kindness on your life? Journal or draw something. Celebrate and thank God for his love for you.
- Imagine a way that you could celebrate and thank God for his grace in your life. Write a song or a poem or other creative expression.
Wrapping Up / Step 4
Leave some time to reflect deeply on significant events or acts of God’s grace that have come to mind during your Summer (silent) Celebration.
This material has been prepared by Debra Hoffos. In her business, Debra Hoffos Leadership Coaching, Debra offers services in Leadership and Life Coaching and in Spiritual Direction. Please contact her at 905.869.5803 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with her.