On a wintery Thursday afternoon on 17 January, 15 people made a retreat. We spent the afternoon at St Luke’s Church Centre where we were very warmly welcomed and enjoyed a simple but tasty lunch as well as hot drinks and snacks throughout the afternoon.
We were led by Revd Canon John Austen. Initially we heard the invitation of Jesus to some of John the Baptist’s disciples to “Come and See” (John 1:35-39). Then we spent time in silence as a group with Exodus 3: 1-6 and the reading about Moses and the burning bush. There were times of sharing during this lectio divina and people shared their thoughts on various things that had struck them in the passage including the need to sometimes turn aside to find God, Moses being at his job of work and the holy ground we can discover in our workplace.
The second passage we spent time with in silence was from Luke 10:38-42. We were led into this by looking at the picture of Christ in the House of Martha and Mary by Jan Vermeer and sharing our impressions and thoughts.
Our final passage was from Luke 19:1-8 when we thought about Jesus inviting himself into our houses. We were challenged to reflect on whether we would give Jesus access to all areas of our lives or just the rooms that we felt were respectable. We were also invited to reflect on how we felt about letting Jesus bring his friends into our house. There was no sharing after this final time of silence.
John led us through these reflections and in and out of periods of silence with great sensitivity. He created a safe and welcoming environment for us to talk, pray, share, laugh and cry together.
Many of those who attended commented that they now need to make time to continue to pray and reflect on the things which had been brought to their attention during the afternoon.