For the past three days I’ve been at the Diocese of Washington’s Formation Leader’s Retreat up at the Bishop Claggett Center. The retreat is for lay and ordained leaders whose ministry focuses primarily on formation for children, youth, and young adult formation. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Lisa Kimball, the Director of the Center for the Ministry of Teaching, and Professor of Christian Formation and Congregational Leadership at Virginia Theological Seminary. As always, her address and sessions have been thoughtful, interactive, informative, and given us all a number of things to chew on about the intersections of our faith, ministry, and society.
Lisa closed one of her sessions with the following clip from the movie Billy Elliot:
She asked us to remember and think about those moments when our faith has been so real and transformative for us…as Billy says, “electricity.” My hunch is that if you are reading this you probably have either had a moment (or hopefully MOMENTS) of that feeling, or you are looking for that moment when your faith comes alive in such a way as to feel electric.
Stop for a moment right now. Think and remember those times where your faith or an encounter with God has left you electrified, feeling like you are soaring. When do those moments happen for you? Where have they happened for you? Have they been in corporate worship on a Sunday morning, or in the silent stillness of solitary prayer? What are you feeling in those moments? What words would you use to describe those encounters, those feelings? How would you describe those moments which are truly gifts from God?
How can you share that gift of those moments with anyone else?
What’s holding you back from sharing those gifts?
My encounters with Jesus are always moments of deepest tenderness and sweetness. They are of the One on the Cross, which in effect is glory, softly lambent, sweet. Jesus is the Rose of God on the Cross. For God, the Father, is a Poet and every poet has his rose.
Thank you for sharing that. I agree, those moments are sometimes like electricity–a current running through me. I feel lit up like a light bulb, or warmed by the sun, or refreshed by the brook, or lifted up with the eagles, or like a stone dropping down into the depths of the Word. All those images from the Psalms. The very best moments of sharing that are with my son, once in a blue moon at bedtime, when he tells about something he heard in chapel or Bible class, and he shares his own images. Last night, he said “it’s so awesome that God has all his armies of angels there to help us.” Thank you, God!
This is one of my favorite movies. Billy found and lived his passion! Thinking, maybe, what he was created to do.