I really don't even know how to begin to write about the numinous experience I had yesterday during the Sunday morning service. The poem I wrote yesterday was an expression of what happened. It's not a good poem, but it's a good poetic account of my experience.
It's worth trying to express the experience in prose, however, because it was one of those times when God just suddenly - and rather unexpectedly - broke through in a very real and very powerful way. It just happened. I don't think there was any particular reason why it happened; the service was certainly not one that was trying to "whip up an experience".
Admittedly, it was a wonderful service. It was a combined service with our Anglican brothers and sisters as well as visiting Lutheran guests from Eastern Germany. There were about 100 people at the service - a very unusual experience for a Methodist - and the mood was celebratory. Truth be told, I was feeling positive about "the world church" and the realisation that the small Methodist congregation in this village isn't the only Christian community in the world (obvious, but sometimes one loses that perspective).
The Lutheran minister and I were asked to assist at communion as servers, with the Anglican vicar, G, presiding. G served us communion first and as he gave me the bread, he used the traditional words "The body of Christ, keep you in everlasting life". Suddenly, for a split second, God in Christ was present. He was just there. And I caught my breath. Ohhhhhh! And then the moment was gone. Numinous moments are like that.
This was a "touchstone event" - an event that one can draw on in the future as a spiritual "touchstone" in times of struggle. However, it is going to take me months to work through exactly what it means. In my experience, these sorts of events happen only once every several years.
In the meantime, I am filled with the sense of God's presence as a great light, a great generosity. A God who is inexpressible creativity and benevolent yearning. I really can't find the words for the power of this creative, loving light. I wish I could find the words.