|Homegroup and The Prayer Course
||[Wednesday 11th May 2016 at 11:36 pm]
Every so often homegroup is at the vicarage, which being nearby I walk to rather than driving (plus because it's south of me, driving back is awkward as I have to go almost out to the M27 and double back - yay, crazyabout craziness). When it was there last month, it was on a completely clear evening and during the walk back the constellations were visible even through the light pollution - oh, it was nothing like the Poultry Cottage in Wales, but it's still amazing how much can be seen even on the south coast.
We'd just started a course on the Lord's Prayer in homegroup (with the imaginative name of The Prayer Course), and in the first video (this one, 9:08 in) there's a bit where one of the chaps talks about how God showed him a particular tree, in what he thought was going to be some massive spiritual event but turned out to be God just going "hey, look, isn't that a good tree?". While walking back the view of the stars put me in mind of that clip, and I had a slight sense of being shown "hey, look, aren't the stars stunning tonight?".
We also tried the cheat sheet that goes along with that video which had a discussion section - they claim 20 minutes, but we spent a good hour or so chatting about the video and the viewpoints in it. Interestingly we decided that we don't agree with all the points in it - praying for parking spaces in particular seems to be a topic that comes up often in our homegroup, and the implication in the video that, for example, not praying for a space means you won't get one didn't sit right with us (not to mention the empirical observation that non-Christians seem to be perfectly capable of finding parking spaces). I quite like that we're actually debating and questioning it, rather than just blindly following along (though perhaps that's just because that's what my namesake did).
The worship/prayer bit at the end was quite good - we took it in turns to read a chunk from Psalm 103 (with some quiet music in the background), with those of us who felt like it saying a short prayer after their bit. It all worked surprisingly well.
This time, instead of a clear sky it's incredibly misty outside (to the point where I can feel the moisture on my skin), which also makes everything look completely different to normal. You can't see the stars, but instead you can actually see the rays of light and shadow from the street lamps and car headlights. It's especially good when there's a tree next to a street lamp as you get the edges of shadow from the leaves blocking the light, or when a car drives past the railings and you see the light sweep across in front of you. There does seem to be a theme here: go to homegroup at the vicarage, and the walk back will be full of wonders to see.
Speaking of homegroup we're now up to the 3rd segment, and again after the video we spent much longer than the optimistic 20 minutes chatting about it, and again we're questioning it and coming to our own conclusions. It's certainly providing good discussion topics! The prayer bit at the end was again rather different - this time, the cheat sheet suggested having everyone pray out loud simultaneously. It's a surprisingly difficult thing to do, especially if (like me) you usually pray silently... everyone was silent to begin with, then someone started talking and the rest of us joined in, and then a few moments later we all stopped. 'Twas all rather strange... perhaps if we tried again, it'd work better with some meditative music in the background? Or maybe do it as a round with each person starting a moment or two after the one before?