Being Still: A Guided Meditation

The Sunday Sermon:  Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost – November 17, 2019

Scripture: Psalm 46


Being Still: A Guided Meditation

As we continue this morning, I want everyone to find a comfortable position to sit in. Most of you are sitting in a church pew, so you can only get so comfortable, but get as comfortable as you can. And with your eyes open, take a few deep breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth, you know the drill. After about five or six deep breaths, gently close your eyes.

Now, I know that not everyone is comfortable with this sort of thing in the rest of your life, let alone during your worship service. Some of you may have been dreading these moments since you read the sermon title earlier in the hour. So, if you feel you just can’t participate in the guided words, just sit peacefully and allow this time for your wholeness in other ways.

Gently close your eyes, if you haven’t already. I’m going to keep looking down myself so no one needs to feel self-conscious about my looking at you, either. Keep breathing as consciously as you can … In and out … Begin to notice physical sensations and points of contact with your body … Notice your legs and back touching the pew cushions … Notice your feet on the floor … Feel you arms and hands in your lap … leave you attention here for a moment … when you feel your mind drifting, bring it back by noticing the physical sensations and points of contact with your body … (wait a moment) …

Now bring your focus back to your breath … In and out as it passes into and out of your body … rising and falling … Again, as you do this, your mind may begin to wander. You may even catch yourself so deep in thought that you’ve forgotten that you were even trying to “be still” in the first place. When you notice your mind has wandered, just gently return your focus back to the breath.

If you get uncomfortable, shift your body to get comfortable … Now, begin to notice any feelings of anxiety or worry that may try to pull your attention away from being right here in this moment … Instead of following these thoughts and feelings, simply notice and observe them … … See what happens when you notice the feeling and allow it to pass … return your attention to the breath … In and out as it passes into and out of your body … rising and falling.

Now engage your mind: What do you think of when you hear the words the psalmist this morning?

God .. is our refuge and strength … a very present help in trouble.

What is “God” to you? … Picture it, picture “God” … Is there “strength” in your God? … Where does that strength come from? … How is it made real in this world, “your God’s strength”?

Keep breathing … try not to get distracted …

What is the “trouble” in your life? … Picture it in your mind … the trouble … How does your world change for you? … How do the mountains shake and the waters roar? … Imagine the world in your mind … Where is it darkest? … Why? … Imagine our country in your mind … Its history … What are our greatest strengths” … What threatens us as a country? … Why do fear? … Imagine your own life in your mind … People, places … What, or who, are you most anxious about? … Why?

Try not to judge the world, or the country, or your lives’ troubles and anxieties … Just make note of how they make you feel … Fearful … Anxious … Troubled …

Now … be still … again …

And know that God is God … Think back … Where is “God” for you? … Picture it, picture “God” … Be still and know that God is God … God is Love … You love … God loves through you … God’s Love is you …

The darkest places in the world need you … That which threatens the country needs you … the most anxious situations in your life – people and places … need you … You are a very present help in times of trouble …

Be still, your soul, for God does undertake

to guide the future surely as the past …

Your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake …

All now mysterious will be bright at last …

So finally, allow your mind to wander back … Release your focus on your breath …  Return your attention to your body and the physical points of contact … your back, your legs, your arms, your hands … Gently open your eyes … and re-discover where you are. Be still … and know … that God is … that you are … and that together, you and God can change the world … the country … and your lives … May it be so.

Amen.

If you’re comfortable able to do so, when you’re comfortably able to do so,

will you stand with me and let us sing our sermon hymn together.

Reverend Joel Weible, Pastor

Pewee Valley Presbyterian Church / November 17, 2019