I recently listened to a program on NPR called, In Salt Lake City You’ll Find Mormons Who Meditate.  You can read the transcript at In Salt Lake City You’ll Find Mormons Who Meditate

In summary, the story is about a man who grew up Mormon, left the Mormon faith as a young adult, learned about Buddhist Mindfulness (meditation), while visiting Salt Lake City felt a calling to return to Mormonism, and now leads Mindfulness experiences for fellow-Mormons.  This seems to be particularly attractive to young adult and dis-affected Mormons.

I’m not Mormon, and I don’t practice Buddhist Mindfulness.  But, I am part of a Christian denomination (United Methodist) that seems to be less and less attractive/relevant to more and more people.  I am also very familiar with ancient Christian forms of contemplation and meditation, particularly from the mystical side of the monastic traditions, that have some parallels to Buddhist practices.

As I listened to this radio broadcast, I couldn’t help but wonder if the Mormons have discovered something that might also be appealing and appropriate in my context and tradition.

I wonder if mainline Christianity has become too focused on programming, structure, institutional bureaucracy, rules, and doctrine?  I wonder if we’ve neglected something that people are hungry for – ancient practices that help people connect with God in deeper, richer, more personal, and more experiential ways?

Christianity has a rich tradition of…

  • Prayer
  • Journaling
  • Silence
  • Solitude
  • Meditation
  • Contemplation
  • Listening
  • Mysticism
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Spiritual Disciplines

But, if I am honest, most of that tradition has been lacking in the churches and ministries I’ve led, beyond occurring in limited way in small groups or by individual practitioners.

I can’t help but wonder what we’ve lost by ignoring these spiritual treasures.  And, I can’t help but wonder if our Mormon friends might have discovered something really important.  I can’t help but wonder if a future for main-line Christianity is a return to ancient spiritual practices.

I wonder.

4 thoughts on “Ancient-Future

  1. I also wonder. Maybe mourn is a more accurate word.

    From: vancerains.com To: patrickc317@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, June 23, 2017 3:41 PM Subject: [New post] Ancient-Future #yiv4482048294 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4482048294 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4482048294 a.yiv4482048294primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4482048294 a.yiv4482048294primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4482048294 a.yiv4482048294primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4482048294 a.yiv4482048294primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4482048294 WordPress.com | vancecrains posted: “I recently listened to a program on NPR called, In Salt Lake City You’ll Find Mormons Who Meditate.  You can read the transcript at In Salt Lake City You’ll Find Mormons Who MeditateIn summary, the story is about a man who grew up Mormon, left the Mormo” | |

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  2. IMO the Methodist church services feels robotic at times. Impersonal. I can drop into any almost any Methodist church on Sunday and experience the same rote service.
    I think some of the older ways of worship might breathe new life, help build a relationship with God, into the Methodist church.

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  3. Having experienced a weekend of silence at a Catholic cloistered convent, where I was left on my own to pray and meditate, I can vouch for the incredible power of contemplation. I was stunned by how close I felt to God; it was life-changing. Even these days, during Sunday worship at First Church, I find myself slipping into that time of just being with my Lord. It is the most incredible feeling. It truly feeds my soul. Are we in the church going hungry and not realizing it?

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  4. we like what you are saying…we have said the same thing.. it is up to each of use to spend time in prayer.
    would be good to get more from church, but in the truth it is up to each of us. In Jesus name amen

    Liked by 1 person

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