When Did We Get 'Spiritual Practice' Stuck?

I am musing on A Simple Country Girl's beautiful teapot and crockery photo. Such a sweet gift in celebration of the little Tea Pilgrimage my girls and I are doing this year.

The photo, quite by accident, ended up with a window-pane shadow on its belly. Unmistakable shape of a cross, on the roundness of promise.

A thought pushes in, a question really, or two... when did we get so 'spiritual practice' stuck that we narrowed our lives down to the cross and not the marvelous round belly of life after it? When did we declare that the Christian life must focus mostly on our sin and failure and penance ('spiritual practice' often seems to be a dressed-up form of penance), rather than celebrate the communion the cross ushered in?

I picture our problem this way... the cross opened a door to a beautiful place (the book of Revelation pictures it as a banqueting place, communion on a grand scale). But we are still busy huddling near the door, wiping our feet on the doormat and worrying about how ill-dressed we are for the occasion. Candles are flickering at the table, china is glimmering and silver is refracting flame, and bread is split open with steam and fragrance rising. But we are stuck at the door.

Maybe the shadow-cross on A Simple Country Girl's teapot was a photographic accident. But I wake thinking it is an invitation to embrace life after the cross, to embrace freedom as simple as a joyful cup of tea (this morning I've tried out a new Creme Earl Grey) and have that be as Christian as a trip to the confessional.

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Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

I think a most marvelous point here, L.L. (I do need to link this blog alongside your main blog, already there of course). Yes. But. But, I am so glad Holy Communion is offered to us in our fellowship Sunday after Sunday. This is the basis for our joy and walk in the Lord. And sins confessed certainly must be a regular part of our journey. But. But also like you say we need to live in that joy and overflow of life that comes out from Jesus and his death, the resurrection life.

Anonymous Maureen said...

Wonderful post, Laura. Thank you for writing it.

Blogger togetherforgood said...

You got me thinking . . . and waxing poetical . . . http://tfgpoetry.wordpress.com/2010/08/14/after-the-cross/

Blogger A Simple Country Girl said...

Indeed it was an accident on my part, but a wonderful invitation on His behalf!

Perhaps we've fully opened the door and this is the light that illuminates into the banquet hall, always reminding us of the gift of the cross...the gift that enables us the freedom to drink of the cup.


Anonymous Denese B. said...

I'm new to your blog and had to comment today about how we tend to hide out near the door regarding spiritual disciplines. Why do we get stuck in those places of feeling it is duty rather than celebration? I want my heart to fling the door open wide so I can run into the room where my Savior and I meet, fully aware of the opportunity this is instead of seeing it as obligatory, as I sometimes do. Sometimes serving can feel the same way. I love when people express that they "get to" serve; they see the "opportunity" as a gift. I could go on and on, but I'd have to put that on my own blog. lol Your writing is lovely and inspiring. Thank you for sharing : )

Blogger Kelly Langner Sauer said...

This is wonderful... I have thought this so many times. We know nothing of free when we stop here. Not really.

Blogger moondustwriter said...

Great reflection

As humans we are myopic - we get bogged down in the mire rather than freed up from it.

someday we will see the light clearly not just the dim reflection

Blogger Anne Lang Bundy said...

Beautiful. I pray that if I have favor with the Lord, He will allow me to convey to others the misery of living on a threshold in comparison to dining at the banquet. One must step beyond the door, and stop looking back, to perceive such delicacies.


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