November 30th to December 6th: Solitude, The Invitation & The Call

Reading from Spirituality of Living: Solitude
Reading from Spirituality of Homecoming: The Invitation & The Call

Welcome to the first week of Advent!  It is an amazing community that has come together for our virtual journey toward Christmas.  Thanks to each of you for joining us and for sharing such warm introductions and encouraging support.

Last week we pondered the invitation to “create space” for God in our lives.  As many of us expressed, this is something we love to do, know we should do more often, and want to do more often.  Henri affirms to us this week that solitude is indeed a discipline and an act of obedience, but we also explore God’s heart behind this calling on our lives.

Solitude with God is “important because it’s the place in which we can listen to the voice of the One who calls us the beloved… To pray is to let that voice speak to the center of our being and permeate our whole life” (p23).  Only when we hear this voice can we truly “walk freely in this world” (p24).
a) What are some ways you are trying to prove your worth in your day to day life?  Big or small, where do you notice it?  How much of your energy does it take?
b) Think of a time, or even a moment, when you “heard” the voice of God calling you the Beloved (and please share it with us :).
c) What would it be like to live that way, knowing truly and deeply that you are the Beloved of God?  How would that change the way you experience each day?  How might it change the way you engage others around you?

In “Homecoming”, Henri shows us that we can enter into solitude by accepting the invitation and the call to follow Jesus.

In The Invitation Henri writes, “Be with Jesus. Be quiet. Listen to the one who invites you home…. By dwelling with the Lord in prayer, we can live in a hostile, violent, competitive world and be at home” (p 21).  He says we need to pray for the intimacy to know Jesus as a friend. 
a) How are you responding to the Lord’s invitation to get to know him as an intimate friend and how does that aid you in living in the world?

According to Henri, “Our response to The Call is to take small steps away from “me” toward the Lord… The secret of the spiritual life is that the person who is in touch with the Lord knows what the little steps are” (p 27).  And those “small steps” toward the One we love often bring us into solitude. 
a) What “small steps of faithfulness” are moving you ahead on your spiritual journey?

We are both so excited to hear from you all this week!  New joiners are always welcome, and, of course, feel free to share whatever comes up for you in the readings.

Ray and Brynn