RETURN TO JESUS MOVEMENT (a contemplation on the Highlights of Church in Wales Governing Body Synod)


You can see “Highlights” here:

Post Easter Highlights – Governing Body of the Church in Wales – sub title – ‘Put Evangelism at the heart of your ministry’. Various members of C in W governing body are quoted then as to what they think this means. Like any group of quotations, you might find some of them insightful, others less so. Personally, I don’t find much of interest here at all but I notice Bishop John has been given the front page and there is one moment in what he says that explodes in me like light – “We need to become, afresh, a Jesus movement. But – and this is a big ‘but’ – we have to begin with ourselves, we have to re-evangelise our life – because unless we really know what we are about…there is little point in trying to reach out to others and to invite them in.”

Look, the rest of this document is just discussions among church leaders, basically buzz-wording about how to reach out to others and invite them in. But Bishop John has cut through the strategies and imaginings and pontifications to the core of what the church is supposed to be about and hopefully what the church is on her sometimes beautiful, often ugly journey toward becoming, what she started out as being when she received the breath of Christ, Christ’s-self, a Jesus movement. That is, a church which moves absolutely in the flow of Christ’s being, Christ’s consciousness, and offers to carry the whole of humanity, the whole of creation, the world and the universe, right into the very heart of God. And Christ has told and Christ reveals to us everywhere, that that flow to the heart of God leads right into the heart of our own being, into the atomic micro-element, if you like, of being. We are whom we are becoming.


So how do we return to being Jesus Movement? Well I am sure it is not about converting anyone to our religion. Many people in the world, many in our villages here in North Gower, say they are interested in the spiritual but not in religion. There is a growing awareness, a rising from the unconscious to the conscious minds of people, that the programmes for material success and fulfilment that we have been taught to follow, do not lead to happiness or any kind of profound fulfilment. Western capitalism forgot about the spiritual nature of human being, but human being is waking up and beginning to remember. We can see evidence of this in the breaking down of political and institutional allegiances and the questioning of their motives and honesty. But there is danger here and I believe the church, though, institutionally, might quite rightly be being brushed aside, has a crucial role to play. And I believe the church can play this role and will play this role. But it has nothing to do with converting people into anything, which is the basic precept of evangelism. It has, instead, everything to do with teaching the people to pray. It’s that simple. Teach people to pray, so that they may know God, not through any theories or laws but through direct experience. It’s simple and it’s beautiful. It requires no strategies or tactics, no politics, no stressful administration.


It’s right here in our readings today. It is right here in any reading, any Sunday, any morning or evening prayer, anytime we use Scripture. But here as we celebrate Pentecost, it’s the outpouring fire on the Apostles and indiscriminately on the people of Jerusalem, the Paracletic breath of Christ in John’s Gospel, the gifts of the Spirit described in 1 Corinthians, the creative Wisdom, Hochma, Sophia, in Psalm 104. What puts us in touch with all of it, is prayer, contemplative prayer. Between Ascension and Pentecost, Acts tells us the Apostles and the women who followed Jesus, the very Jesus Movement itself, spent their time, in the upper room in Jerusalem, “praying constantly”.

How were they praying? Well, Jesus had taught them how. They’d witnessed him going alone to pray in the morning early and in the evening late and they’d asked him to teach them ~ Matthew 6: When you pray, go into your room. Close the door and pray to your Father, who can’t be seen. Your Father will reward you, because he sees what you do secretly. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: Abba… Intimate, loving, simple, he is teaching them contemplative prayer. There is nothing we can experience on this earth more beautiful and more fulfilling than to pray like this. If we can pass this on to people, then we are doing the most beautiful thing we can do, we are taking our place in the flow; we are quite simply being the Jesus Movement. We are artists. Great art is great because it touches the soul, leads you into contemplation, the deepest prayer. By the grace of God, we can teach many people to pray.

Let’s practice a little now and then let us receive together God’s body, God’s blood, God’s life, God’s consciousness…remember who you are and who’s you are…

You can practice this just about anywhere, any time.

Be still and know that I am God – (silence – 2 mins? – you decide)

Be still and know that I am – (silence)

Be still and know that I

Be still and know that

(reduce each time until just ‘Be’)

longer silence – just Be – be conscious but try not to think, about anything, just be. You are wth God always. God is closer to you than your own breath.


~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on June 7, 2017.

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