Reflect on the Journey
“Life must be understood backwards... but must be lived forwards.” (Søren Kierkegaard, Journalen, 1843)
When we live a Methodist Way of Life, we can expect to have amazing experiences as we encounter God in any and all of the 12 practices.
A crucial second step is to reflect on these experiences; to make memories, to see how they fit with the rest of Christian tradition, and to think about what might happen next. This helps us to continually shape both our beliefs and our practices. How are you being called to partner with God and other people to make a change in your life or the world?
How reflection changes us for the better
“Experience and reflection both need to occur for us to move towards being fully formed in Christ.” (Clive Marsh, Christ in Practice)
A key area of Methodist theology is that we are gradually changed by the Holy Spirit, from the inside out to become more like Jesus Christ. This is called sanctification, and it is a work of God’s grace, not something we have to strive to achieve.
Reflection is a space where sanctification can happen.
Some different ways of reflecting spiritually
Noticing God: Seeing God in the world and in other people opens our eyes. “I think I meet God in every person I meet!”
Journalling: Whether you’re an artist or a poet, keep a record of your reflections.
Conversations: Hearing other people’s experiences and perspectives is one of the most important ways we learn and reflect.
“I was leading a Bible study with some women involved in sex-work. Hearing their reflections on the way men who are ‘Biblical heroes’ treat women was revelatory! They called out abuse and violence very quickly, unlike most of our comfortable church Bible studies. It made me think very differently about where God was in the story and how we might respond to such stories today."
Are there other ways you reflect? Let us know on social media: @methodistgb #reflectonthejourney