Meet Simeon, spiritual scout. Visualize him entering the temple daily, scanning the crowd, listening for the still small voice and some insider information. Will today be the day? Simeon scouts for the Messiah, looking for God’s appearing and waiting to see God’s promise fulfilled.
While consulting with a church whose attendance was growing rapidly, I attended a service to learn how they cultivate spiritual engagement. During their liturgical worship, the pastor did something unusual. He stepped down from the chancel, grabbed a microphone, and roamed the aisles to ask, “Who has a God sighting to share from your week?” I grew nervous. This could quickly go off the rails. But people waved eagerly to get the pastor’s attention, took the mic, and shared for a minute or two. One story went like this: “While visiting my mother in the facility, I saw her caregiver interact with her in such a way that I know they have a close relationship, giving me great comfort when I can’t be there. That was an expression of God’s love.” After a number of people spoke, the pastor returned to the chancel and the service proceeded. This happened eight years ago. I still remember the spiritual impact of those God-sighting stories.
Afterwards I asked the pastor how this started. “Spontaneously. We were studying how to recognize God’s presence in ourselves, our church, and our community, so I started asking about God sightings. At first nobody had anything to say. Then, when they knew I’d be asking in worship, they started noticing God’s activity. Now we see this as a spiritual discipline that trains us to recognize God’s movement in our lives.”
Like Simeon, we spiritual scouts look for God’s appearing.
Where did you spot God this week? How do you learn to recognize God’s advent and activity?
God, we pray for the eyes to see and the ears to hear you among us. Amen.