This year I have had the joy of walking the labyrinth with our college kindy kids. Three of four times a term starting in term two I have led our two kindy age groups through a simple temporary spiral labyrinth. To do this I have shifted some furniture in the two kindy studios then used my labyrinth making tape dispenser on the floor to make a four, five or six spiral labyrinth. Then when the kids are ready and sitting on the floor together I pray with them or tell a bible story as an introduction. Then I position myself on a small stool at the entrance of the labyrinth with a chime. I ask the kids to wait until they hear the chime before they walk. Once they get into the centre they are invited if they wish to close their eyes and take three deep breaths before they walk the same way out again. It's been amazing to see how these young children each walk the labyrinth in their own way but also how engaged they can be in walking it, slowing down, practicing stillness, and being mindful of the silence and their breathing. With modelling and repetition even the youngest of the three year olds have been able to do it and find meaning and benefit. Check out this PowerPoint presentation which shows how I have been doing it at Pacific Early Learning Centre. Thank you Julie McCosker our ELS Director and the Kindy families for permission to use these photos and videos.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5
Silence and us, silence and noise, silence and technology and now we finish with silence and God.
One writer on Christian spirituality, Richard Foster says; silence sometimes involves the absence of speech; it always involves the act of listening. (Foster: 123). If you focus on the word ‘silent’ for a moment, if you rearrange the letters in the word ‘silent’, it contains the same letters as the word ‘listen’. That’s the point of experiencing silence as a spiritual practice or discipline. That’s how silence is connected to God. We can refrain from talking for any number of reasons, but when we are silent, we can enter the space in which we can listen to God and God speaks to us. When the clamouring voices or thoughts in our minds are stilled, we listen to the word of God, whose presence can nurture and restore our souls.
Benedict, the 6th century mystic and father of western monasticism, came up with seventy-three rules for living in community, rules that Benedictines still practise today. The very first words of the Rule of St Benedict are, listen by inclining the ear of your heart. There is great wisdom here, moving beyond our tongues and ears, to deeper down to our hearts. When our hearts are open to listening to God, Christ can grow in us.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in “Life Together”; silence is nothing else but waiting for God’s Word and coming from God’s Word with a blessing. But everybody knows that this is something that needs to be practised and learned, in these days when talkativeness prevails. Real silence, real stillness, really holding one’s tongue comes only as the sober consequence of spiritual stillness. (Life Together: 60). Being still before God, practising silence, is a gift to use when we come to hear the Bible, but how often do we do this? How often are our times of reading the Bible or hearing the Bible being read to us accompanied by times of silence? Stillness, silence, is an appropriate way to come to God’s Word. For by inclining the ear of our heart to the word of the Lord, we will hear God speak to us.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
About this site
"Meditations & Musings" is my humble attempt to share what I have found useful in ministry in an Australian Lutheran School setting. It contains chapels, devotions and other resources I have written, used and adapted in my K-12 school context. If you would like to also share your ideas, resources or start a conversation about mission and ministry in your church- school location, feel free to contact me.
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