Taking Time To Learn About Other's Experiences of the Light

This comes from the Advices and Queries of Britain Yearly Meeting:

Take time to learn about other people’s experiences of the Light. Remember the importance of the Bible, the writings of Friends and all writings which reveal the ways of God. As you learn from others, can you in turn give freely from what you have gained? While respecting the experiences and opinions of others, do not be afraid to say what you have found and what you value. Appreciate that doubt and questioning can lead to spiritual growth and to a greater awareness of the Light that is in us all.

This was the query I chose to reflect on this morning before I started working and I wanted to share it with all of you. I feel as though each line is worth a response but I won’t do that, I’ll just offer a couple thoughts.

Since arriving in Camas, three months ago (!), I have been asking a couple basic questions of people in the church (and then in turn, inviting them to ask one another these questions). I’ve taken these questions from one of my professors at Fuller, Mark Branson, who has spent a lot of time working with helping congregations move to a more missional orientation. The questions are:

In all of the ways we connect with the local community, the nation and the world, what do you believe are the most important and meaningful? Describe those times when you believe our church was most faithful or effective in missional activities. What have been your own most valuable experiences? If you had three wishes…

While these aren’t exactly, “Take time to learn about other people’s experiences of the Light,” they do come close. And with people sharing their dreams you can often here how people relate to the Light of Christ without ever mentioning it. Yet, I will add this more direct question to my list because I think it opens up the opportunity for even more dialogue around what is essential.

For me I often experience the Light in relationships with other people. When I feel like I deeply connect with someone, have an inspiring conversation, or am able to listen and share in another’s journey, whether painful or hope-filled, I often leave those encounters feeling as though I’ve met with Jesus. There are other ways as well, but this seems to be one consistent way that I find spiritual connection with Christ.

Finally, I have been trying to be mindful of Spiritual writings and find nourishment there. I have been trying to keep up with the Revised Common Lectionary for daily readings within Scripture, along with reading and studying the Gospel of Luke. I have also really enjoyed reading Simone Weil’s “Gravity and Grace” in the mornings, and will continue to share quotes from that as I move along through that book. Finally, I’ve mentioned before that I’m reading James Wm. McClendon’s corpus (I’m currently in his Ethics) as a way of being mentored by his thought.

How about you? How would you respond to this query?

Published by

Wess

...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.