This was the question I was asking myself yesterday in the Quaker meeting where I found myself in many ways ‘at home’
Take this for example: Friends have never regarded [worship] as an individual activity. People who regard Friends’ meetings as opportunities for meditation have failed to appreciate this corporate aspect. The waiting and listening are activities in which everybody is engaged and produce spoken ministry which helps to articulate the common guidance which the Holy Spirit is believed to give the group as a whole. So the waiting and listening is corporate also. This is why Friends emphasise the ‘ministry of silence’ and the importance of coming to meeting regularly and with heart and mind prepared. John Punshon, 1987
In this humanistic age we suppose man is the initiator and God is the responder. But the living Christ within us is the initiator and we are the responders. God the Lover, the accuser, the revealer of light and darkness presses within us. ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.’ And all our apparent initiative is already a response, a testimonial to His secret presence and working within us. The basic response of the soul to the Light is internal adoration and joy, thanksgiving and worship, self-surrender and listening. Thomas R Kelly, 1941
There is so much in this tradition that speaks to me: the silent waiting on God, the use of few words in worship; the emphasis on peace and justice;
But in the end, there is something missing, and it’s mostly to do with … the Holy Trinity, and Holy Communion, both of which are at the heart of my faith. Even so, maybe something of the Living Water that I have found in Quaker worship can be a continuing part of my own experience of God.
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