From Rev Sue Ann Yarbrough
I apologize for being a day late with this week's meditation, but I have just concluded a four day Zoom retreat. I am part of a group of spiritual directors who meet for a four day retreat once a year. Normally, we meet at the beautiful Villa Maria del Mar in Santa Cruz, but this year it just did not seem wise to try to gather in person, even though the retreat house is open on a limited basis. We are an older group and several of us live in other parts of the United States. Flying to California just did not seem wise.
While we were not sure how our retreat would work on Zoom, we were surprised at the ease of the gathering. Our conversations were just as warm and intimate as they always have been. Yes, we missed the ocean and the gentle presence of the Sisters of the Holy Names. We missed hugging one another. Yet, overall, we consider the retreat a success, and no one had jet lag!
When you are ready to see if Zoom might work in your community, do let me know, and I do want to say thank you to the communities who have invited me in via Zoom. God continues to gather his people in, and in surprising ways!
I read this beautiful Psalm when I feel I am in danger of falling into the trap of forgetting that God is always with us. Here, we have the psalmist remembering when he was part of a large group who were in procession to the house of God. He remembers the glad shouts and songs of the multitude. It does indeed sound like a wonderful memory. He assures his soul that God will once again be praised in the temple.
Many of us are exiled from our temples, church buildings, and even our families. However, because we celebrate the incarnation, we know that God is very much with us. God cannot be extracted from our souls and God refuses to be trapped in any one building. God will not go away, even when we are angry and frustrated. We can never be exiled from God, but we can forget to get in touch with that Divine Spirit within. Too often, we turn away from ourselves and our love. Yet, even when we do that, God is steadfast. We can always return to that abundant love. God is always right here, right now, ever ready to fill our hearts with peace.
If possible, spend some quiet time with God today. You can verbalize your prayers if you want, but if you find you can't find words, just sit in the sacred silence. You can take a few breaths, and then simply say, "Welcome, Lord Jesus, or 'Welcome Holy One.'" It may feel odd at first, but it should not be too long before you begin to feel the comforting presence of the One who has been with you all along.