This is the first in a new series of Friday reflections written by members of the New Room team. Even though we cannot currently join together for our usual Friday lunchtime Communion service in the chapel, we hope that these short reflections will act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
Our first reflection is written by New Room Chaplain, Rev Josette Crane. Josette has led five different churches in Bristol, has trained ministerial staff, lay and ordained, and run many prayer days and retreats. In 2019 she was blessed with identical twin grandsons.
“I invite you to read Deuteronomy 8:1-4
The Japanese theologian Kosuke Koyama in his book Three Mile an Hour God, talks about how God moves slowly. He makes the point that Jesus never travelled faster than three miles an hour, because he either walked or at the fastest travelled on a donkey.
The passage from Deuteronomy describes the people of God ending up in the wilderness. They are away from their familiar places, the familiar system and style of life is left behind, they are in a strange place. They cannot rely on their usual provisions or distractions. There is not much to do but to walk slowly through the desert.
In the wilderness our speed is slowed down to the speed which we walk, three miles an hour. In the wilderness the people are called to slow down and to trust God. God is love and love has its speed, it is slow, it goes on in the deep places of our life. The people of God in the wilderness were taught to trust in God’s provision and in God’s word, but it happened slowly, at the speed at which they could walk.
A prayer: As the river of our life slows, as our torrent of activity stills and pools, we are taken into a place of deeper noticing and listening. We watch and listen to the sounds of Spring around us, nature proceeding unhampered, perhaps even enhanced. We observe and listen to our closest family and neighbours, the postperson, the delivery driver. We are more aware of ourselves, our deepest fears, our mortality and our very life. May we not be tempted to be like a stagnant pool, but through our deep listening to become more of the authentic person whom God created us to be. Amen.”