Psalms 94, 95, 97, 99, 100
1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Last fall, I attended the St. Matthew’s retreat at Shrine Mont. This was my first time at Shrine Mont, and I wasn’t sure what to expect -- of the retreat or Shrine Mont.
It had been raining and chilly (it was November!) most of the week prior to the retreat and, as we drove there Friday evening, it was dark and a bit dreary. But, on Saturday morning, although it was frosty cold, the sun was out in all its glory. We were blessed with two days of sunny, crisp, and beautiful weather -- the mountains of Virginia at their best.
Our retreat planners wisely scheduled a generous amount of time for us to wander around the grounds. There were hiking trails, friends new and old to spend time with, and plenty of space to just sit and enjoy the electronics-free time. A couple of us decided not to attempt one of the longer hikes but to walk around the little lake, enjoy some of the closer paths, and to walk the labyrinth. I’m not sure how much time we spent soaking in the quiet and the sights and sounds that become so vivid in that kind of setting…. the whisper of the leaves falling…the calls of the birds overhead…the breezes gently moving through the trees, watching the birds spread their wings and glide on the breeze above us, following a single leaf as it gently made its way from the very top of the tree to the ground, immersed in a powerful peace as we walked around the labyrinth. And, in all of this peace and beauty, being acutely aware of the awesome presence of God.
“The Lord reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitudes of isles be glad.” (Psalm 97:1)