Discovering God’s amazing grace
Redeeming the past

Reading: Ruth 4:1-12

While the Examen works well at the end of the day. It can also be used as a way of reflecting on different parts of our lives. Each one of us has a past, parts of our lives that we are proud of parts that we would rather hide. Parts that we would live again because they where such good experience and parts that we would live again if only we had that chance because we would live them differently.

For Ruth the experience so far had been one of a marraige that ended in death of her husband. This day must have seemed like a long day as she waits to be redeemed from that past.
Invite someone to open in prayer. Read Ruth 4:1-12

As you reflect on Ruth's story ask these two questions:
What from her past might Ruth have been most grateful for?
What from her past might Ruth be least grateful for?

Explain that the two questions you have asked of the passage you are now going to ask of God and before God for yourselves. But that the focus will be the past year.

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 the thing in the last year that you are most grateful for? Where was God and how where you experiencing his grace? Breathe in the gratitude you felt and the life of that moment.
  • Invite people to ask Jesus to bring to mind the moment in the last year that they are least grateful for? As you remember the moment invite God to be part of it. Allow him to fill you and hold 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.

Reflect together on the year, where you experienced the grace of God (Consolation) where you felt distant from God (Desolation). What is God saying to you, calling you to, through the experiences of the last year.

Invite people to do the Examen each day. Ask someone to close in prayer.

Please remember that Sharon and team are available to listen to issues raised or to take things deeper where needed.

Mark Searle, 12/07/2008