Last week twenty-seven of us gathered together in Sioux Falls for a retreat. By the end of our two days together we realized we were no ordinary group of twenty-seven people. We became a remarkable community of brothers and sisters in need of some space, perspective, words, silence and friendship. The theme for our gathering was “A Sacred Heart.” The hope for the gathering can be heard in David’s prayer, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me (Ps 51:10).
There are no shortage of things that get us entangled and snared along the way of this deal we call ministry. This unusual gathering of saints had plenty of tangles and snares to share, but more so plenty of presence, experience and from time to time a word or two to offer.
I love to frame out these kinds of gatherings. Good content helps. Good processes which stir up reflection and conversation are a hair better. But I think what makes such times timely, is quite frankly bringing the right people together. When good people who love Jesus come together for communion, community and confession good things happen.
Although most of those who came to the retreat did not know each other at all or very well, most felt a deep resonance and strange sort of familiarity with the conditions within each of our lives. We learned again, and together, that God seems to delight in showing up amidst the tailored conditions of our lives.
And we learned how much we need one another if we are to remain faithful in our relationship with the One who receives and calibrates our hearts toward holiness. We were reminded of the mystery and the beauty of being “called out ones”…goof balls, brainiacs, shepherds, writers, leaders, care-givers, teachers, parents, friends. We needed nourishment for the journey ahead.
Who are the saints you gather with for communion, community and confession? They need you…and you need them.