01 July 2008

Durham Retreat 1

Thought I'd post two photos and a few thoughts. (I know I don't usually post personal stuff, but hey, it's my blog! *grin*)

Along with a number of other ordinands, I'm here at Ushaw College for a retreat before our ordination in Scarborough on Sunday. Above are some photos of Durham Cathedral from the outside (no photography allowed inside) and of Ushaw College where we are staying.

A recurring theme for me during this retreat seems to be Psalm 139. My prayer group has been praying through this psalm for about the last month. I and another woman have sometimes found it challenging because, for those of us who grew up in authoritarian church structures, this psalm is often used as a threat, rather like George Orwell's 1984 television screen that spies into people's homes to make sure that they are thinking and behaving properly.

I have, however, been finding both consolation and challenge in this Psalm and it was used again today by one of our retreat leaders. I prayed through the psalm again on my own this evening using the 'Common Worship' translation. I was hit by the first part of verse 2: 'You mark out my journeys and my resting places'.


David said...

Hi Pam, I was interested in your comments about Psalm 139. Last Saturday evening I had a strange dream in which parts of it came to mind, especially those verses which endow God with a sort of X-ray vision. I felt the Lord saying, "don't be afraid, yes I see the bad, but I also see much that is good." Quite reassuring.

The following day this Psalm turned out to be used by the preacher for responsive reading.

So don't let the Psalm be used to oppress you - God sees the good.

PamBG said...

Thanks, MP. I agree with you.

Strange how it's been coming up! When it was the given passage for prayer in my prayer group, I think we all thought we were going to have an 'easy' time with a familiar psalm. But praying on it has brought up a lot of interesting new angles for people despite the familiarity.

Doorman-Priest said...

Thoughts and prayers with you Pam.