The Scripture ~ Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 The Message Translation
The Spiritual Focus ~ “The habit of attending to small things and of appreciating small courtesies is one of the important marks of a good person.” Nelson Mandela
The Devotion ~ Friendships, volunteerism and church attendance have been called the core, the trifecta, of a healthy lifestyle. Opportunities to culture friendships and establish volunteerism in our lives are many. Church attendance however is changing, shifting with a new generation and perhaps this is an opportunity for us to consider ‘attending’ as something more than our body’s being present in a location. Perhaps what was important about attending church all along, as the early church realized, was how we ‘attended’ with our whole being; mind, body and spirit. Perhaps what we learned in gathering as the church, that has for some become about what we like and don’t like in worship, was to be truly present, to expect an experience of the Holy, the sacred … to have our attention captured by the unconditional promises of God’s love and Presence.
Attending and attendance is an and/both. We see in times of crisis such as 9/11, people flocking to church to be in community, to support each other and once gathered we turn our attention to that which is greater than self, we ‘attend’ in a Holy and wholly different way.
The practice and philosophy of yoga gives us tools to be Holy and wholly present. Yoga teaches us how to attend, how to set aside distractions, to focus with our eye gaze or drishti on one point perhaps a candle or the cross. Such focus has been shown to calm our thoughts and focus our attention. We learn to tune in with listening ears because in yoga we have learned to listen to our bodies and to connect our breath with the healing breath of God so that we may ‘attend’ our relationship with God, attend with our whole selves. The benefits to us of ‘attending’ in community, bringing our whole selves, are many, but perhaps the greatest is what we notice about our relationship with God that moves us to be more loving and helpful in the world.
Breath Prayer ~ I AM Present