"I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit..." (John 15:5)
"God’s heartbeat can be heard in the whole of life and at the heart of our own lives, if we will only listen." (J. Philip Newell)
Last May I gave a sermon entitled, "A Knot of Love." On the cover of the order of worship that day was a picture of a Celtic knot. (You can see image samples of Celtic knot work here.) For some reason, this past week I've been thinking back to that sermon and especially to the image of the Celtic knot.
We human beings are pretty good at compartmentalizing our lives. I know I am. "God-time" is Sunday morning or when I am intentionally praying or reading something "spiritual." That is distinct from "family time" or "meal time" or "exercising time"... You get the idea. Sometimes I get discouraged with myself for not carving out more time to cultivate a connection to God. I can fall into that false choice between nurturing my spiritual life or doing "stuff that needs to be done". But what I too often forget is that cultivating a spirit-filled life means practicing the presence of God at the heart of *all* life--no matter what I am doing.
The ancient Celts who were Christian understood that God was not just up in the sky, that "God-time" could not be confined to an hour here or there. They understood that all of creation was shot-through with God-reality, that it is God who pulsates in and through all of the universe. Celtic knot work reflects this essential orientation to life--God and humanity all tangled up together, God and creation all intertwined with one another, inseparable.
I still deeply believe that intentional times of prayer and study, of contemplation and reflection, of worship with other Christians is essential for those who wish to grow more and more into the likeness of God. But, having said that, the image of a Celtic knot reminds me that God will not be confined to those times. The image of a Celtic knot invites me to know that in each and every moment, in each and every breath--and the spaces in between--God IS. Thanks be to God!
Blessings on your week,
Prayer: God, help us listen for your heartbeat deep within our lives, at all times and in all things. Amen.