Discovering God’s amazing grace
Reading: Ruth 3
Read or paraphrase the following introduction:
During the bombing raids of World War II, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they received food and good care. But many of these children who had lost so much could not sleep at night. They feared waking up to find themselves once again homeless and without food. Nothing seemed to reassure them. Finally, someone hit upon the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Holding their bread, these children could finally sleep in peace. All through the night the bread reminded them, "Today I ate and I will eat again tomorrow." From “Sleeping with Bread” by Linn
As the Examen becomes a regular daily reflection, before God and directed by God, so he can transform us at the core of our being. So much so that we can sleep well knowing that the Lord can sustain us whatever the circumstances. We can learn to face head on the life draining aspects of life and embrace the life giving parts allowing God’s grace to grow in us.
Invite someone to open in prayer.
Read Ruth 3
What experience of grace might Ruth want to hold on to?
What previous experiences might Ruth have had to let go of??
Explain that the two questions you have asked of the passage you are now going to ask of God and before God for yourselves. On this occasion is could be that God highlights some thing that you need to let go of or something you need to embrace.
Lead people slowly through the Examen. Use a combination of conversation and guided praying.
- Stop and become aware of God’s presence. (See introduction or session one lead people to a quite place before God.)
- Invite people to ask Jesus to bring to mind an experience of God’s grace from today? How did you embrace it? Breathe in the gratitude you felt and the life of that moment.
- Invite people to ask Jesus to bring to mind a time today when a previous experience stopped you embracing God’s grace? What was it like, how long have you been living with this? Stay and acknowledge how you feel but don’t try to change it. Breathe deeply the love of God, allow him to fill you.
- Invite people to give thanks for the experiences of the day. Either in the quietness of their hearts or out loud. Spend some time sharing the journey you have been on.
NB: The important thing from today is not to try and change in our own strength the places where experiences stopped us embracing grace but instead to hold the bread that God has provided knowing he will provide for tomorrow – sleeping with bread (OT symbol of presence of God) is a powerful transforming act of faith.
Invite people to do the Examen each day.
Please remember that Sharon and team are available to listen to issues raised or to take things deeper where needed.
Ask someone to close in prayer.
Mark Searle, 22/06/2008